Professor Sir Steven Cowley announced as Faraday Institution Chair

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Louise Gould 

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Distinguished scientific leader to help set agenda for UK programmes in energy storage research

 

HARWELL, UK (10 May 2024) The Faraday Institution, the UK’s flagship institute for electrochemical energy storage research, announces Professor Sir Steven Cowley as a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair Elect.

Professor Sir Steven Cowley is a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy. He retains his positions of director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and professor at Princeton University, roles in which he has served since 2018.

Professor Cowley previously served as president of Corpus Christi College and professor of physics at the University of Oxford. From 2008 to 2016, he was chief executive officer of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and head of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. He has held numerous advisory roles. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and received a knighthood in 2018 for services to science and the development of nuclear fusion.

Full biography.

Professor Cowley will assume the role of member of the Board of Trustees effectively immediately, and will take over the role as Chair on 16th July 2024. The current Chair, Professor Peter B. Littlewood, will step down from his role on that date.

Announcing the new appointment, Professor Littlewood commented: “We are delighted to welcome such a distinguished and widely respected scientific leader as Professor Sir Steven Cowley to the Board. Professor Cowley brings a vast array of connections and insight from working at the highest levels in both the UK’s and US’s energy research landscape. We are privileged to be able to draw upon this expertise, particularly from his experience at Culham, as the Faraday Institution further establishes its position in the research ecosystem and delivers energy technologies of the future.

“Steven is an exceptional scientist and a proven leader of large-scale, mission-driven scientific projects. We look forward to introducing him to the organisation’s community.”

Accepting the position Professor Cowley said: “I am honoured to join the exceptional team leading the Faraday Institution. Battery technology is critical to electrifying transportation and energy systems and thus it is an essential part of fighting climate change. The Faraday Institution’s programme is improving the technology in many significant ways, speeding its adoption, and opening economic opportunities for the UK.”

Professor Cowley joins a strong, capable and committed executive team and staff, a vibrant research community, and a Board of Trustees with deep expertise in research and development, energy storage, the energy sector and auto industry. Collectively they will continue to drive the organisation’s mission of delivering scientific breakthroughs in energy storage to industry-defined goals.

Professor Mark Spearing, Chair, People Committee of the Board of Trustees, Faraday Institution, commented: “On behalf of everyone in the organisation I would like to extend my thanks to Peter Littlewood for his six years of service as inaugural Chair of the Board of Trustees. He played a critical role in the formation of the Institution and in ensuring that it has become internationally recognised for its leadership in battery research. The Faraday Institution has benefitted enormously from his wide knowledge of the energy sector and the generous way he has shared his ideas about the role of the organisation within that landscape. We have all valued his openness, constant diligence, and support. I know that we will be able to continue to call on his wise counsel and kind critique if the need arises.”

-Ends-

 

Notes to Editors

About the Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees, and a delivery partner for the Faraday Battery Challenge.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on twitter (X).

The Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation is delivered by Innovate UK. The Challenge is making the UK a science and innovation superpower for batteries, supporting the UK’s world-class battery facilities along with growing innovative businesses that are developing the battery supply chain for our future prosperity. Its aim is to build a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.
www.ukri.org

£19 Million Committed to Battery Research

Media Contact: 

Louise Gould 

[email protected] 

07741 853073 

 

Four further Faraday Institution battery research projects refocused for maximum impact 

 

HARWELL, UK (5 September 2023) The Faraday Institution, the UK’s flagship institute for electrochemical energy storage research, announces a £19 million investment in four key battery research projects aimed at delivering beneficial impact for the UK. These existing projects in three research areas — next generation cathode materials, electrode manufacturing and sodium-ion batteries — have been reshaped to focus on the areas with the greatest potential for success.  

This is part of a wider UK Government announcement on advanced manufacturing.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “The UK automotive sector is at the cutting edge of exploiting innovative technologies. These have the potential to create jobs, grow the economy and accelerate how we reach net-zero. This package of funding will help industry and government work together and take decisive action in targeting areas where the UK is leading the way. This government has shown time and time again that we are committed to creating the right conditions to make the UK the best location in the world to manufacture.”

With more than 500 researchers from 27 universities and 85+ industry partners, the Faraday Institution continues to drive innovation in energy storage technologies that will transform the UK energy landscape from transportation to the grid.  

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution, commented: The Faraday Institution remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and invest in battery research initiatives that hold the greatest potential for making significant societal, environmental, and commercial contributions. This announcement signals the completion of our latest round of project refocusing, enabling us to allocate even more effort towards those areas of research that offer maximum potential in delivering transformative impact. 

As part of this project refocusing and its ongoing efforts to drive impact in energy storage research, the Faraday Institution recently issued an open call for short, costed proposals for new research topics with tightly defined scopes that strengthen delivery of these core research projects. The list of successful applicants is found here and the new research areas have been integrated into the coordinated projects. The round was highly competitive with 40 proposals submitted 

James Gaade, Research Programme Director commented: “We are pleased that the reshaping process has bolstered the capabilities and expertise of researchers on the four projects. The realignment includes a focus around research into sustainable manufacturing methods and materials, and the need to further develop and scale up manufacture of promising materials discovered in the first three years of the projects.”

The majority of the funding for this programme, £17.1 million, is provided by the Faraday Battery Challenge, which is delivered by Innovate UK for UK Research and Innovation. The Department of Science, Innovation and Technology is providing £1.1 million of support for collaboration between US and UK researchers in next generation cathode materials over the period 1 October 2023 – 31 March 2025. The sodium-ion battery research project, NEXGENNA, is receiving £0.8 million over the same time period via UK aid from the UK government via Transforming Energy Access (TEA). 

Project details 

The refocused research projects, including targeting market opportunities and early-stage commercial development, are in the following areas: 

Nextrode – Electrode Manufacturing 

Nextrode is focused on researching, understanding and quantifying the potential of smart electrode manufacturing to reduce manufacturing costs and improve the performance of batteries. Benefits could be realised in both mature material systems already used commercially and to new emerging high performance battery systems. The project is developing new practical manufacturing innovations – including to traditional slurry cast electrodes and novel low or no solvent electrodes – that could deliver the benefits of smart electrodes to the industrial scale and improve sustainability of processes. 

The project is researching the underpinning manufacturing science that could alleviate constraints in electrode manufacturing through engineering particle design and improved understanding of the relationship between powder properties and deposition/calendering techniques. Nextrode is designing manufacturing process steps and using advanced in-line measurements to enable slurry casting to be brought under closed-loop control. Researchers are manufacturing new arrangements of anode and cathode materials, identifying conditions where benefits are maximised and developing cells that expand the energy-power-lifetime design space.  

Nextrode is led by Principal Investigator Prof Patrick Grant, University of Oxford. The team also includes researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Warwick and UCL, and newly joined by Imperial College London. The project partners collaborate closely with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. One example of the project’s close collaboration with UKBIC is a modelling and experimental programme to more accurately predict how slurries behave on taking mixes from the lab scale to the kilogramme scale. 

Cathode Research 

Two Faraday Institution projects seek to improve battery performance and cost via the discovery and characterisation of next generation lithium-ion cathode chemistries to deepen understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and mechanics. FutureCat has a focus on high-capacity, high-performance nickel-rich oxide cathodes targeting premium electric vehicle applications and delivering these at scale. CATMAT is focusing on high energy density lithium-rich cathodes and reducing reliance on supply-chain at-risk elements (including cobalt and nickel), while delivering performance that exceeds lithium iron phosphate. 

FutureCat – High nickel content, high performance cathode materials 

FutureCat is targeting step-changes in: 

Professor Serena Cussen, University of Sheffield, and Professor Louis Piper, WMG, University of Warwick, co-lead this project, which also comprises research teams at the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, Imperial College London, Lancaster, and newly joined by Nottingham and Diamond Light Source.  

CATMAT – High energy density, sustainable cathode materials 

CATMAT seeks to understand the critical properties and limitations of lithium-rich oxygen-redox cathodes and novel anion-chemistry cathodes, thereby developing solutions to the scientific roadblocks that are hindering their use in EV batteries. In doing so it aims to design and demonstrate high rate, increased reversible capacity and high voltage cathodes. Researchers will also seek to understand the mechanism of intercalation/deintercalation in disordered rocksalt cathodes to underpin mitigation strategies to overcome existing voltage, capacity and cycling issues. New synthesis methods will be developed and optimised to facilitate scalable manufacturing routes for cathodes with a reduced reliance on cobalt and nickel. Experimental, modelling and cell performance evaluation will be used to down-select the most promising cathodes to be taken forward and synthesised at scales of around 100 g – 1 kg using scalable green synthesis routes and low energy manufacturing methods. Researchers will optimise the morphology of cathode powders and investigate manufacture of composite materials, core shell and coatings for optimal performance. Materials will be assimilated in full battery cells and their performance characterised in proof-of-concept devices. 

Prof Saiful Islam, University of Oxford, leads the CATMAT project, which also includes researchers from the universities of Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Liverpool and UCL.  

NEXGENNA – Sodium-ion Batteries 

NEXGENNA is developing next generation sodium-ion batteries (NIBs), a technology on the cusp of commercialisation that is suited to applications (such as low-cost mobility and static storage) where lifetime operational cost (not energy density or weight) is the overriding factor. The project aims to surpass the performance of lithium iron phosphate/graphite batteries by improving the energy density, power, and lifetime of NIBs while maintaining sustainability, safety, and cost advantages. Its multi-disciplinary approach incorporates improvements to the chemistry of the main cell components, culminating in scale-up and cell manufacturing at the new prototyping facility at the University of St Andrews.  

Various approaches are being used to improve positive electrodes, targeting higher energy density (composites that exploit anion redox), cycle life (via pillaring) and sustainability (low cost layered materials). To improve the capacity of negative electrodes, researchers are investigating sodium inclusion in hard-carbon composites, prioritising scalable, low-cost, and energy-efficient synthesis. The project is making improvements to existing electrolyte formulations, seeking processing improvements to electrolyte additives (NaPF6 salts), and developing new electrolytes that could enhance performance of NIBs by expanding the voltage window, enabling new electrode chemistries to be explored. 

Researchers also aim to develop an improved mechanistic understanding of the solid/electrolyte interphase layer, metal plating and investigate the feasibility of anode-free NIBs. Emerging positive, negative and electrolyte materials will be combined, scaled up to pouch cells and benchmarked against commercially available materials.  

Prof John Irvine, University of St Andrews, is Principal Investigator. Working closely with industry partners, the team also includes researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Lancaster, STFC, and newly joined consortium partner Birmingham.  

 

The new phase of the four research projects described here will progress over the two years from 1October 2023 to 30September 2025, with a break clause at 31 March 2025. 

The reshaping of the organisation’s six other large, coordinated research projects on extending battery life, battery modelling, recycling and reuse, safety, solid-state batteries, and lithium-sulfur batteries was announced in March 2023 

The reshaping of the projects was a thorough process that involved revision of the scope of existing research areas, an open call for proposals in new research areas and input from senior researchers, the Faraday Institution’s expert panel, and a panel of internationally recognised independent experts from academia and industry. The focus was on how to enhance the UK’s position in electrochemical energy storage research and make UK industry more competitive, building on the progress made over the past five years. 

-Ends-

Notes to editors

About the Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees, and a delivery partner for the Faraday Battery Challenge.

The Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation is delivered by Innovate UK. The Challenge is making the UK a science and innovation superpower for batteries, supporting the UK’s world-class battery facilities along with growing innovative businesses that are developing the battery supply chain for our future prosperity. Its aim is to build a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

About UK Research and Innovation  

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.
www.ukri.org

About the Ayrton Fund

The Ayrton Fund is a commitment by the UK Government to spend up to £1 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies and business models for developing countries over five years (2021-2026). This includes the partnerships and associated skills needed to deliver Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13.

About the Transforming Energy Access platform
Transforming Energy Access (TEA) is the flagship FCDO research and innovation programme supporting early-stage testing and scale-up of innovative technologies and business models that accelerate access to affordable, clean energy for poor households, enterprises, and social institutions in developing countries across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Indo-Pacific. This includes support to innovations across the three Ayrton Fund themes of clean supply, super-efficient demand and smart delivery, as well as integration of solutions across the three. In late 2021, a £126m scale-up of the platform was announced at COP26, further advancing TEA into a major delivery platform for the Ayrton Fund focused on delivering innovations enabling a Just Transition for the 733 million people who still lack access to electricity, the 2.4 billion people who cook using fuels detrimental to their health and the environment. Ayrton funding to the Faraday Institution, and Zero-Emissions Generators (ZE-Gen), is delivered via TEA.

Faraday Institution to lead UK Government’s Ayrton Challenge on Energy Storage

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Louise Gould
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UK international development funding for new energy storage research and development will support clean energy delivery in emerging economies

 

HARWELL, UK (15 August 2023) The Faraday Institution has been appointed to lead the Ayrton Challenge on Energy Storage (ACES) under the UK Government’s £1 billion Ayrton Fund.

ACES will leverage the UK funding, as well as the expertise and partnerships of British scientists and innovators, to deliver the latest cutting-edge energy storage technology for developing countries. Currently, 675 million people globally lack access to electricity and many more suffer from unreliable supplies. Energy storage is key to enhance reliability of energy supply, as well as to reduce emissions and meet global climate change targets.

As part of ACES, the Faraday Institution will lead a research and development programme to March 2027, focused on expanding energy access, facilitating emissions reductions, and supporting energy transitions in developing countries. The programme will lead on development of improved and lower cost battery energy storage systems. This will help maximise power availability from low-carbon, renewable energy sources, supporting the displacement of expensive and polluting fossil fuel-based back up generation, reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and negative health impacts.

The £5 million R&D programme is part of a wider co-ordinated ACES package of at least £25m across a range of partners for skills development, technology accelerators, and venture and market building activities. Innovations will reduce the cost and improve the performance of energy storage systems for static off- and weak-grid, and e-mobility solutions in target countries.

Professor Charlotte Watts, the FCDO Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Research said:

“Energy storage is absolutely central to tackling global climate change and expanding access to clean and reliable energy for all. Our International Development Strategy and Integrated Review Refresh are clear about the importance of climate innovation.

“We are scaling-up UK research and innovation support internationally via the Ayrton Challenge on Energy Storage. Expanded research partnerships to develop new battery options to meet the needs of developing countries and use readily available resources, will help minimise costs and environmental impacts, and be essential to delivering sustainable and affordable clean energy.”

The Ayrton Fund aims to accelerate the clean energy transition in developing countries, by creating innovative clean energy technologies and business models, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, and especially progress on Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) and Climate Action (SDG13).

The energy storage elements of the Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen) initiative form part of ACES, which was first launched by the UK at COP27, and which aims to advance renewable energy-based alternatives to fossil-fuelled generators.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) jointly manage the Ayrton Fund through ongoing, new, and scaled-up clean energy platforms and programmes.

As the UK’s expert institution on energy storage R&D, the Faraday Institution will coordinate with partners including Shell Foundation, Acumen, the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP), UCL and Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst, as well as a range of academic and industry leaders. ACES builds on the UK’s existing partnership with the wider global movement for energy access, through the extensive networks of the FCDO’s Transforming Energy Access (TEA) platform.

The Faraday Institution will directly lead the following activities as part of ACES:

  1. Support the development of battery energy storage systems (BESS) solutions through strategic research partnerships. Working with, for example, the World Bank, the Global Battery Alliance, and organisations in the target regions, research will be commissioned to provide insights into the environmental, political, financial and social contexts for any BESS technological interventions. This will support their applicability and inform activities and partnerships across the Ayrton Fund portfolio and beyond.
  2. Deliver a research programme to improve performance and lower cost for BESS. The significantly higher capital cost of current BESS solutions compared to widely used fossil fuel generators represents a significant barrier to their adoption. This programme will deliver research into battery technologies, such as sodium ion, zinc air and flow batteries, to drive down the capital cost of BESS solutions and improve safety, sustainability and performance. It will actively seek to encourage partnerships and collaborations with researchers from the global south.

The R&D programme will include:

a. Seed studies. Short research projects to rapidly screen out less promising research directions and funnel more promising research at low technology readiness levels in to other initiatives described below. A call for proposals will be issued in September 2023 to select the first round of seed projects.

b. Collaborative industry / university research projects. Up to five larger research projects will be initiated to deliver technologies to a level where they can be deployed in the field in partnership with, for example, ZE-Gen. This will include funding for part of the NEXGENNA research project on sodium-ion batteries, leveraging Faraday Institution’s core funding. Further projects will be awarded after an open call in Q2 2025/26.

c. Industry sprints. Up to four short projects to solve a well-defined research challenge relevant to an industry partner that could accelerate technological breakthroughs and commercialisation.

  1. Facilitate the deployment of BESS solutions. ZE-Gen, convened by the Carbon Trust and Innovate UK and including partners like the Shell Foundation and Cross Boundary’s Innovation Lab, may provide an important pathway to impact through deploying in target communities at least two proof-of-concept demonstrators of promising technologies identified in the research programme.
  2. Capability building. To enable knowledge transfer, enhance education and skills, and support successful technology deployment, capability building initiatives will be delivered across target regions. This is expected to include the creation of an online community of African battery professionals, and Masters to PhD enrichment activities, in collaboration with the TEA Learning Partnership.
  3. Provide BESS domain expertise and lead the ACES Strategic Leadership Group (SLG). Supported by the Carbon Trust, the Faraday Institution will convene partners engaged across the Ayrton Fund portfolio whose work is aligned with and directly contributing towards researching, developing and using energy storage technology solutions. The forum will facilitate coordination and collaboration, with initiatives likely to include the joint commissioning of studies and research, and organisation of joint dissemination events. The SLG will initially include members from: Aceleron Energy, University of Oxford, World Bank, Shell Foundation, Acumen, InnovateUK, Carbon Trust, and the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.

These plans build on work already delivered by the Faraday Institution and its research partners since 2019 and as part of the Ayrton Fund over the last two years. For example:

“Selecting the Faraday Institution as the lead for the Ayrton Challenge on Energy Storage will leverage the strength of our research community, and our policy and skills expertise, to deliver, at pace, a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary effort,” comments Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution.

“The Faraday Institution is well positioned to effect global change. Decarbonising electricity provision in communities in the global south with low or no connectivity is a multi-faceted challenge. Working collaboratively with multiple partners, ACES will move the dial, bringing reliable access to clean energy sources to communities, changing lives and livelihoods.”

Logos for UKaid for the British people and Transforming Energy Access

—ENDS–

Notes to Editors

About the Faraday Institution

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors. Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees, and a delivery partner for the Faraday Battery Challenge.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on twitter.

About the Ayrton Fund

The Ayrton Fund is a commitment by the UK Government to spend up to £1 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies and business models for developing countries over five years (2021-2026). This includes the partnerships and associated skills needed to deliver Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13. The Ayrton Fund is managed and delivered jointly between the FCDO, DESNZ and DSIT, via a portfolio on ongoing, new, and scaled-up clean energy innovation programmes

About FCDO Research and Development

The UK is committed to being a global science and tech leader and partner. Science, tech, research and data have a vital role to play in helping deliver against our mutual development priorities and contribute to resilience by tackling global challenges, from climate change to health threats. The FCDO’s global research, science and technology partnerships harness UK science excellence to accelerate progress on global challenges and deliver diplomatic impact. FCDO invests in mission-driven R&D, which includes ODA and non-ODA investments, to enhance FCDO development and diplomatic impact, delivering development benefits to millions. It generates and uses research analysis and evidence and deploys scientific and technical expertise to drive effective FCDO delivery.

About the Transforming Energy Access platform
Transforming Energy Access (TEA) is the flagship FCDO research and innovation programme supporting early-stage testing and scale-up of innovative technologies and business models that accelerate access to affordable, clean energy for poor households, enterprises, and social institutions in developing countries across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Indo-Pacific. This includes support to innovations across the three Ayrton Fund themes of clean supply, super-efficient demand and smart delivery, as well as integration of solutions across the three. In late 2021, a £126m scale-up of the platform was announced at COP26, further advancing TEA into a major delivery platform for the Ayrton Fund focused on delivering innovations enabling a Just Transition for the 733 million people who still lack access to electricity, the 2.4 billion people who cook using fuels detrimental to their health and the environment. Ayrton funding to the Faraday Institution, and Zero-Emissions Generators (ZE-Gen), is delivered via TEA.

www.carbontrust.com/tea

About ZE-Gen

Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen) aims to advance renewable energy-based alternatives in countries that currently depend on fossil-fuelled generators. ZE-Gen was first launched at COP27 in November 2022.

Reliance on fossil fuel generators comes at a huge financial, environmental and social cost. Viable alternatives do exist but, despite the benefits these offer, the reach of these solutions is extremely limited.

ZE-Gen will enable the replacement of millions of polluting and expensive fossil-fuelled generators by accelerating the transition to renewable energy-based alternatives. It is a collaborative, cross-sector initiative to tackle barriers, accelerate innovation and fund activities to build a thriving, competitive market for alternatives. ZE-Gen has an initial commitment of over £15 million, with the ambition to seed a wider £100 million partnership.

About the Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) Platform

Accelerate-to-Demonstrate (A2D) Facility:

At COP27, the Prime Minister announced a new £65.5m Accelerate-to-Demonstrate (A2D) Facility (2023-2029), which focuses on accelerating the commercialisation of innovative clean energy solutions in key thematic areas, such as clean hydrogen, critical minerals and cross-cutting energy transitions themes, including energy storage. The A2D Facility, delivered through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is a key part of delivering the UK’s £1bn Ayrton Fund ODA commitment for accelerating clean energy innovation in developing countries, which contributes to the UK’s £11.6bn international climate finance pledge. The A2D Facility is in the set-up phase and further information will be available in early-2024.

Energy Storage Innovation Fund under the Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) 1.0 Programme:

The UK’s £7.3m Energy Storage Innovation Fund (2019-2021) under the £50m Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) 1.0 Programme (2019-2024) focused on accelerating the commercialisation of innovative clean energy solutions for energy storage in developing countries. The Fund was delivered through Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst programme and contributed to the UK’s Mission Innovation commitment to double spend on energy innovation in 2020/2021 and UK’s £1bn Ayrton Fund ODA commitment. 20 projects were supported, and activities included pilot demonstration, knowledge sharing events and capacity building in countries across Africa, such as Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with 100% of projects advancing at least one Technology Readiness Level, leveraging £6.4m of private finance with all projects demonstrating potential for scalability of innovative technologies in supported developing countries.

The Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation is delivered by Innovate UK. The Challenge is making the UK a science and innovation superpower for batteries, supporting the UK’s world-class battery facilities along with growing innovative businesses that are developing the battery supply chain for our future prosperity. Its aim is to build a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

“The Role of Hydrogen and Batteries in Delivering Net Zero in the UK by 2050” analysed in new report

Media Contact:
Louise Gould
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The complementary roles of battery and hydrogen technologies: Navigating uncertainties towards net zero

HARWELL, UK (25 April 2023) – The Faraday Institution has published a report analysing how hydrogen and battery technologies are likely to be used in different sectors within the UK, including transportation, manufacturing, the built environment, and power sectors, to 2050. Both are anticipated to play an increasingly vital role as the UK transitions to a low-carbon future to address critical concerns of climate change and energy security.

Professor Pam Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Faraday Institution said: “Batteries and hydrogen have distinct characteristics and should largely be viewed as complementary rather than competing technologies. Both will require significant technological advance and extensive scale up of manufacturing and deployment if the UK is to meet its obligation to reach net zero by 2050. The varying timescales of their rollout leads to considerable uncertainties in predicted market share profiles over time.”

The report was commissioned by the Faraday Institution and authored by DNV. The sector analysis draws on DNV’s knowledge and experience within both the battery and hydrogen industries. The analysis uses DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook model, an integrated system-dynamics simulation model covering the energy system that provides an independent view of the energy outlook from now until 2050. The modelling includes data on costs, demand, supply, policy, population and economic indicators.

Hari Vamadevan, Executive Vice President, and Regional Director UK & Ireland of Energy Systems at DNV, said: “As we strive to decarbonise and meet net zero ambitions, the energy landscape will be evolving at a faster pace, with batteries and hydrogen being key contributors to this transition. We are delighted to showcase DNV’s unique combination of industry expertise and independent analysis from our Energy Transition Outlook model to forecast the role that each technology will play across the energy demand sectors.”

Download the report, The Role of Hydrogen and Batteries in Delivering Net Zero in the UK by 2050.

 

Uncertainties

Long-term forecasting is not an exact science, and considerable uncertainties remain in the relative adoption of hydrogen and battery technologies by sector. In particular, the policy environment remains uncertain and prone to change. The report therefore provides one forecast of the likely path of technological development. The results of DNV’s model are based upon current government policy positions and the authors do not speculate on how unstated policy changes in the future may change the model’s results.

Both hydrogen and battery technologies need technology advancements, supportive business models, considerable scale up and supply chain development before they can deliver the capacities needed over the time horizon modelled. The uptake of the two technologies in each market sector will depend on the rate of technology development, infrastructure development, capital costs, total cost of ownership, customer perceptions and other policy factors.

 

Key findings

The role of hydrogen and batteries in delivering net zero in the UK by 2050

Battery and hydrogen technologies:

Expected energy use of battery systems

Expected energy use of hydrogen and hydrogen derived fuels

Battery technology dominates road transport while aviation starts to embrace hydrogen from 2040

Energy use of battery and hydrogen systems in different sectors

Number of UK road vehicles by engine type

UK aviation energy demand by energy carrier

Battery and hydrogen technology both have niche uses in the maritime, rail and built environment sectors

UK maritime energy demand by energy carrier

UK rail energy demand by energy carrier

UK built environment energy demand by energy carrier

Hydrogen plays a key part in manufacturing while batteries provide storage and flexibility for the grid

UK energy demand by carrier for manufacturing industry

Energy storage capacity for different storage technologies

Download figures.

Faraday Institution Refocuses Six Existing Battery Research Projects for Maximum Impact

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Commits a further £29m to battery research 

HARWELL, UK (30 March 2023) The Faraday Institution, a leader in energy storage research, has announced a £29m investment in six key battery research projects aimed at delivering commercial impact. These projects, including extending battery life, battery modelling, recycling and reuse, safety, solid-state batteries, and lithium-sulfur batteries, have been reshaped to focus on the areas with the greatest potential for success.  

With over 500 researchers from 27 universities and 85+ industry partners, the Faraday Institution continues to drive innovation in energy storage technologies that will transform the UK energy landscape from transportation to the grid.  

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution, commented: The Faraday Institution is committed to identifying and investing in the most promising and impactful battery research initiatives. This project refocusing is an important part of that process, and allows us to direct even more effort towards those areas of research that offer the maximum potential of delivering societal, environmental, and commercial impact.”

Business and Trade Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Growing the battery industry is vital to positioning the UK as the best location in the world to manufacture electric vehicles.

“This funding will help businesses become more innovative and productive, helping to create more skilled, high-wage jobs across the UK, future-proofing our economy and supporting our ambition towards a cleaner, greener future.”

As part of this project refocusing and its ongoing efforts to drive impact in energy storage research, the Faraday Institution recently issued an open call for short, costed proposals for new research topics with tightly defined scopes that complement its core research projects. The list of successful applicants is found here; and new research areas have been integrated into the projects. The round was highly competitive with 62 proposals submitted 

James Gaade, Research Programme Director commented:We congratulate the co-investigators who were successful in bidding in the competitive process. They are from 10 universities, three of which – Cranfield, Bristol and King’s College London – are new to Faraday Institution core projects. We particularly congratulate Newcastle University who will lead three new work areas in the SOLBAT, ReLiB and Degradation projects.” 

The funding for these projects came from the Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK for UK Research and Innovation.

Project details 

The refocused research projects, including targeting market opportunities and early-stage commercial development, are in the following areas: 

Extending Battery Life 

The Faraday Institution’s Degradation project, a centre of excellence in understanding degradation mechanisms in lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide NMC811-graphite batteries, is expanding to investigate other systems of industrial interest. Researchers will apply their knowledge and new characterisation techniques to investigate the degradation of systems comprising silicon-rich composites and those using anode-free architectures. On the cathode side, the project will investigate the higher nickel content NMC, lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP), and tungsten-doped lithium nickel oxide (LNO). Tungsten-doped LNO is a promising material with high capacity that was developed by the Faraday Institution’s FutureCat project. Researchers will also investigate new electrolyte formulations compatible with the anode and cathodes under study and their impact on degradation. 

The project will also include new pouch cell fabrication activity at WMG, which will allow researchers from across the project to access reproducible and reliable cells to perform degradation studies at more industrial-relevant scales. Pouch cells to be fabricated will include tungsten-doped LNO cathode developed at the University of Sheffield.

The project is led by Co-Principal Investigators Prof Dame Clare Grey, University of Cambridge, and Prof Louis Piper of WMG. The team also includes researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton, Imperial College London and UCL.  

Battery Modelling 

The Multi-scale Modelling project has been refocused to further develop parameterisation methods and techniques for next-generation models and modelling of batteries beyond lithium-ion. Researchers will focus on methods to determine accurate input parameters for models that define ageing and that accurately represent what happens at battery interfaces, which could support the growth of the Battery Parameterisation eXchange (BPX) standard being formed by the Faraday Institution. 

Additionally, the project aims to grow the capabilities of PyBaMM, an open-source physics-based model, to enable better health and performance prediction at cell and pack level, linking to commercial software, and growing the PyBaMM community. The project will also develop ‘PRISM’, an industry-focused equivalent circuit model framework integrated with and complementary to PyBaMM, which will incorporate machine learning approaches. 

The project is led by Prof Gregory Offer, Imperial College London, with additional researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Warwick. 

Recycling and Reuse (ReLiB) 

The ReLiB project will develop, improve and scale recycling technologies and transition them to industry. The project is developing cutting-edge diagnostic and decision-making methodologies (linking to battery passports) to optimise and automate pack handling logistics that will enable autonomous decision making at end of first life to recycle or reuse in a second-life application such as on the grid. The project’s aim is to improve current industry practices to beyond 90% efficiency and add value through improved purity of recovered materials and re-engineer them to new uses. Researchers will continue to explore processes to recover valuable and non-valuable materials from waste streams via novel electrode extraction, delamination, binder recovery, leaching, electrolyte recovery and regeneration, and biological recovery techniques, in many cases proving processes at larger scale than previously achieved.  

Led by Prof Paul Anderson, University of Birmingham, ReLiB also draws on the expertise of researchers at the universities of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Leicester, Newcastle and UCL. 

Battery Safety (SafeBatt) 

SafeBatt is investigating the science behind cell and battery failure using advanced instrumentation, imaging and high-speed techniques to characterise failure modes and investigate the interplay between cell ageing, degradation and safety. Cell-to-cell failure propagation is being studied and detection methods and mitigation strategies to prevent thermal runaway and propagation are being developed and demonstrated. A model that can predict thermal runaway and simulates the external flow of gas, heat and ejecta during failure will be developed, informing the design of safer battery systems.

The project will also conduct tests in larger format cells and at module level to help industry and other stakeholders understand how EV and micro-mobility battery packs and static energy storage systems fail in real-world scenarios. This builds on previous research that identified a potentially explosive vapour cloud, observed under certain conditions of lithium-ion cell failure. This research will continue to inform the project’s international dissemination activities (where SafeBatt researchers are playing a leadership role globally) and provide a central point of access for industry, government bodies and fire services seeking knowledge and engagement on lithium-ion battery safety related issues.

Led by Prof Paul Shearing of UCL, SafeBatt also includes researchers from the universities of Cambridge, King’s College London, Newcastle, Sheffield and Warwick.

Solid-state Batteries (SOLBAT) 

SOLBAT will continue to focus on developing a deep understanding of the materials properties and mechanisms behind the premature short-circuiting and failure of solid-state batteries, a crucial step towards avoiding such events and realising the commercial potential of this technology. The project will focus on the key areas of the solid-state system, namely the anode, cathode and electrolyte. On the anode side, the project will investigate use of lithium-metal alloys, the nature of the anode/electrolyte interface and the use of “lithium-less” solid-state batteries as ways to increase critical current densities, improve cycling performance, reduce manufacturing cost and prevent cell failure by managing dendrite growth and void formation. On the cathode front, researchers will continue to study the use of polymers as a coating between the solid electrolyte and cathode active particles as a promising way to minimise volumetric changes and reduce cell operating pressures. Additionally, the project will focus on mitigating the growth of dendrites by controlling the microstructure and mechanical properties of the solid electrolyte separator, whilst also reducing its thickness towards commercially relevant values. A further focus area will be characterisation and modelling, which will help to enrich the understanding of the materials and decipher the mechanisms driving the performances and failures. 

Prof Mauro Pasta, University of Oxford, will be taking the position of Principal Investigator of SOLBAT. Prof Sir Peter Bruce will continue to be involved in the project as a work package leader. The project also includes researchers from Newcastle University and Diamond Light Source.  

Lithium-sulfur Batteries (LiSTAR)

The refocused LiSTAR project will place increased emphasis on the development and validation of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) pouch cells using the most promising anode, cathode and electrolyte components previously tested individually at a coin cell level. The project will continue to improve the performance of individual cell components, but with a narrowed focus on maximising the energy density and lifetime of cells using the best performing materials identified in the project’s first phase. The project will also work on the development of cathode architectures and investigate the cathode/electrolyte interfaces of quasi-solid-state Li-S technology with the aim of improving cycle life, in a complementary research area to the industry sprint project with OXLiD. Additionally, the project will work on developing a solid-state composite cathode for an all-solid-state Li-S battery, as well as consolidating the suite of dedicated diagnostic and characterisation tools for understanding Li-S performance. A new addition to the project is research at the system level; a battery management system suitable for Li-S technology will be developed, with a focus on early applications like aerospace and weight critical propulsion. 

LiSTAR is led by Prof Paul Sheering of UCL, with additional researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Coventry, Cranfield, Imperial College London, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and Surrey.

Research in these six areas will progress over the next two years to 31 March 2025. 

The reshaping of the projects was a thorough process that involved revision of the scope of existing research areas, an open call for proposals in new research areas and input from senior researchers, the Faraday Institution’s expert panel, and a panel of internationally recognised independent experts from academia and industry. The focus was on how to enhance the UK’s position in electrochemical energy storage research and make UK industry more competitive, building on the progress made over the past five years. 

Additionally, the Faraday Institution research programme includes four other large, coordinated research projects on next generation cathode materials, electrode manufacturing, and sodium-ion batteries, which are undergoing a similar refocusing process and the outcome of which will be announced in the autumn of 2023.  

Battery Research Moves to Next Stage of Commercialisation

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Faraday Institution research creates pathway to Innovate UK Round 5 development projects

 

HARWELL, UK (26 January 2023) UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) today announced a further investment of £27.6 million from the Faraday Battery Challenge to support collaborative R&D projects co-funded by industry and managed by Innovate UK on behalf of UKRI. Six of the projects chosen in what was a highly competitive process leverage the knowledge, capabilities and know-how developed by the Faraday Institution research community.

UKRI announcement.

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO of the Faraday Institution commented, “The range of new projects funded by Innovate UK that are based on Faraday Institution research clearly demonstrates the success of our organisation in identifying and pursing battery science and engineering ripe for commercialisation. The Faraday Battery Challenge is working as intended to marry research, innovation and scaleup to deliver positive impact for the UK. The 17 projects announced by Innovate UK today will help create a thriving and profitable UK battery development and manufacturing industry.”

Tony Harper, Challenge Director for the Faraday Battery Challenge, said, “As we move towards a net zero future the UK’s electric vehicle industry must continue to evolve. These winning projects have all shown how their ideas can potentially accelerate the development of technologies or business practices in the UK. I look forward to seeing how their innovations help to significantly advance the performance characteristics of batteries for electric vehicles.”

The projects with Faraday Institution researcher involvement include:

REBLEND aims to further develop three processes to directly recover valuable cathode active materials (CAM) from production scrap and end of life automotive and consumer batteries for reuse in automotive batteries, building the basis for a UK-based automotive battery recycling industry. The project is led by Ecoshred, with University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, Minviro, Iconichem Widnes, Watercycle Technologies, Ecolamp Recycling, and Cornish Lithium. The project combines novel delamination, magnetic, electrostatic and membrane separation techniques, developed as part of the Faraday Institution’s ReLiB project. REBLEND has the aim to produce separated and >89% pure anodic and >94% pure cathodic black mass from shredded end of life batteries enabling battery-grade CAM recovery for £6/kg.

About:Energy has been awarded a project to further develop The Voltt – their database of battery model input parameters. The company is a spin-out founded to commercialise research developed by the Faraday Institution Multi-scale Modelling project. It is focused on breaking down a barrier that currently exists that is slowing the widespread adoption of battery modelling – access to highly accurate parameterisation data, a process that requires expensive equipment and specialist knowledge for data capture. The further development of The Voltt will empower organisations to harness the power of data and modelling to speed up the battery development process, by, for example, helping automakers with cell selection and lifetime predictions. The project also involves Imperial College London and Arrival.

OXLiD is leading a project to accelerate the development, scale-up and commercialisation of quasi-solid-state lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. The project builds on significant progress made by the Faraday Institution LiSTAR project and commercialisation team, and involves project partners at the University of Nottingham, University College London, William Blythe, WAE, Exawatt, Emerson and Renwick, and Infineum UK. Li-S batteries are a promising energy storage technology for application where high performance, lightweight batteries are needed. Quasi-solid-state Li-S batteries have the potential to significantly enhance Li-S cycle life, energy density and operating temperature range. The project will develop suitable electrodes, separators, electrolytes, and a cell design, with the aim of combining them in pouch cell format and demonstrating superior performance.

The HISTORY – The HIgh Silicon content anOdes for a solid-state batteRY – project will further develop a multi-layer, solid state pouch cell with specifications aligned with the needs of electric vehicle pack developers. Solid state battery (SSB) technology is expected to rapidly provide safety and performance improvements compared to the incumbent lithium-ion battery technology. Ilika will design and fabricate the SSB cell. Researchers at the University of St Andrews who have been working with Ilika on a Faraday Institution Industrial Sprint on SSBs will continue their collaboration in the HISTORY project by characterising the interfaces and materials interactions in the multi-layer pouch cell. Researchers at University College London and Imperial College London will apply their expertise and tools developed as part of a number of the Faraday Institution projects to model the expansion and contraction of the SSB at single-layer, multi-layer and pack level. Nexeon will develop a high silicon content anode based on its low expansion NSP-2 material, the Centre for Process Innovation will formulate inks with the silicon powders to be incorporated into Ilika’s SSB cell and UCL will conduct in-depth characterisation of the materials. HSSMI will provide recommendations for reduced environmental impact and improved end-of-life outcomes.

CatContiCryst, led by NiTech Solutions, aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of manufacturing cathode precursor materials using unique, patented, continuous oscillating baffled reactor/crystalliser technology, which allows manipulation of the chemical reaction and solid-state formation processes that can lead to improved final product performance of NMC cathode materials. The project aims to provide process data to aid future scale-up, define the process parameters that produce single-crystal cathode morphologies subject to reduced degradation in use in batteries, and define the benefits of continuous processing over batch technologies (improved production efficiency and quality). Know-how on the chemical and solid-state processes and cell production and testing is led by the University of Sheffield, in part developed as part of the Faraday Institution’s FutureCat project. The project also includes CPI.

Another project of note is EXtrAPower – Enabling Xtreme Automotive Power – led by Nyobolt with University of Cambridge, Coventry University and WAE. Nyobolt is bringing to market an ultra-fast charging battery technology, providing significant advantages over current state-of-the-art. This project is seeking to optimise cell performance over an extended operating temperature range with enhanced cycle life. Dr Israel Temprano (a researcher on the Faraday Institution’s Degradation project based at the University of Cambridge) will lead the project’s efforts to optimise electrolyte formulations. The Faraday Institution previously awarded two Industry Fellowships to Coventry University to develop prototype cells confirming performance potential that supported a previous funding round for Nyobolt.

The Faraday Battery Challenge brings together world-leading research, business innovation and scale up of manufacturing to accelerate to develop the latest battery technologies – a crucial part of the UK’s move towards a net zero emissions economy. An additional £211 million in funding was announced on 21st October 2022, allowing the challenge to exploit the momentum, nationwide learning and industrial support generated since it began in 2017.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on Twitter.

 

Faraday Institution launches first physics-based battery modelling standard

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Battery Parameter eXchange (BPX) standard – an initiative to provide a common language to enable accurate battery modelling and reduce costs and time-to-market for industry

HARWELL, UK (7 December 2022) The Faraday Institution has today launched the Battery Parameter eXchange (BPX), an open standard for physics-based lithium-ion battery models. The standard defines the battery parameters, the equations that use the parameters, and the reporting of experimental measurements used to validate the reported parameters.

Physics-based battery models can deliver accuracy and insight into long-term performance in a wide range of scenarios. However, the complexity of physics-based models and lack of a common definition has limited their use to specialist teams within large companies, each creating their own modelling schemes that are difficult to compare with those of other companies.

The purpose of BPX is to reduce costs and time-to-market through a common definition of physics-based battery models that can be used widely across industry. BPX will make it easier for manufacturers and developers of all sizes to leverage the accuracy of physics-based models in a broad range of scenarios, which will reduce costs and stimulate innovation.

Professor Pam Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Faraday Institution said: “To meet the growing speed of change and demand from industry and society, improvements need to be made to battery performance, longevity, sustainability and safety. Years of advanced model development, a five-year investment in our Multi-scale Modelling Project, and the spin out of About:Energy sit behind the BPX standard. Its introduction will both speed up design and development cycles and reduce the need for expensive physical prototyping.

Rob Millar, Head of Electrical, WAE, said: “Cutting-edge automotive consulting and design is a heritage UK strength that is currently undergoing transformation with the global switch to electrification. We believe physics-based battery modelling has a valuable role to play in accelerating this change and the BPX initiative supports the industry drive for improved battery performance, longevity, sustainability and safety.”

Professor Gregory Offer, Imperial College London, said: “Design of an optimal battery system for a particular application demands a deep understanding of battery performance under a wide range of conditions. The physics-based model codified in the BPX standard makes that knowledge and understanding more available for engineers to solve real world problems. Making that knowledge widely available is a powerful enabler for the optimisation of lithium-ion technology and its successors.”

Industry standards require maintenance and a clear technical, commercially informed roadmap. To this end the Faraday Institution is exploring the development of a Faraday Standards Forum, an industry/research partnership that could be launched in 2023 and that could own the roadmap for the maintenance and development of BPX.

Want to know more / get involved?

The Faraday Institution and NREL sign MOU in support of US UK joint battery research

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Initial focus to reduce reliance on critical materials and enable recycling of lithium-ion batteries

 

HARWELL, UK (15 August 2022) Leaders in energy storage research in the United Kingdom and the United States have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a cooperative relationship in support of projects to develop and improve high-capacity batteries as well as new methods for battery materials recycling for their future usage in electric vehicles for a more sustainable world.

The MOU was signed at the Royal Institution, during the first in a series of US UK workshops on electrochemical energy storage, by Professor Pam Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the Faraday Institution in the UK, and Dr Peter F. Green, Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Both the workshop and the MOU identify areas of mutual interest in areas of key battery research, such as to reduce reliance on critical materials in cathodes and to ensure recyclability of batteries.

“The depth and breadth of scientific knowledge across the US National Labs and the UK’s world-leading universities is what allows for this kind of innovative partnership,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO of the Faraday Institution. “By strengthening the connections amongst the best battery research groups in the US and the UK, we will accelerate discovery and much needed breakthroughs in high-capacity cathode materials and develop recycling routes for lithium-ion batteries.”

“An important goal is to establish a sustainable supply chain for critical materials, such as cobalt, and to establish a lithium battery recycling ecosystem to recover and reintroduce these materials into the battery supply chain. Electrochemical energy storage is one of DOE’s priorities, and collaborative activities have been established between the national laboratories in this area,” said Peter F Green, Deputy Laboratory Director, Science and Technology, NREL. “This MOU leverages the enormous and historic strengths of the research enterprise in energy storage in both the US and the UK to accomplish this.”

UK Business Minister Lord Callanan said: “The signing of this memorandum signals the UK’s continued commitment to international research collaboration in areas of strategic importance, such as energy storage. It is vital the UK continues to make efficient use of critical minerals through partnerships like this one and embed their re-use, recycling and recovery in the supply chain, as laid out in our new Critical Minerals Strategy.”

Among the distinguished guests attending the ceremony were Peter Faguy, manager of the Applied Battery Research Program in the Vehicle Technologies Program in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Tony Harper, Faraday Battery Challenge Director at UK Research and Innovation; Bill Tumas, Associate Laboratory Director, Materials, Chemical, and Computational Science at NREL; Ilias Belharouak, Distinguished Scientist & Head of the Electrification Section in the Electrification and Energy Infrastructure Division at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Jud Virden, Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy and Environment Directorate at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Access photos from the signing ceremony.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Faraday Institution publishes 2022 update to its study “UK Electric Vehicle and Battery Production Potential to 2040”

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Growing optimism for the UK battery manufacturing industry but redoubling of efforts needed to keep pace with investments across Europe

 

HARWELL, UK (23 June 2022) – In an update to its 2020 study, the Faraday Institution predicts that there will be demand for ten UK-based gigafactories (large, high volume battery manufacturing facilities) by 2040, each producing 20 GWh per year of batteries.

The transition to electrified transport is essential to meet Net Zero commitments. The size of the economic opportunity provided by this change is significant. The combined electric vehicle automotive and battery ecosystem could be worth £22 billion by 2030 and £27 billion by 2040. Recent announcements in the UK by Britishvolt and Envision AESC have built excitement, particularly in the North East, about the potential to create a new, dynamic and highly skilled battery industry in the UK.

The UK Government has played its part by making bold policy commitments and increasing investor confidence in the UK as a location to do business.

But more needs to be done.

The UK is making progress but not moving fast enough compared to its European competitors. UK battery manufacturing plants could reach a combined capacity of 57 GWh by 2030, equivalent to around 5% of total European GWh capacity, compared with 34% in Germany.

It is important that UK Government continues to communicate the attractiveness of the UK as a battery manufacturing location to investors. Alongside cultivating new investors, it should also help to develop a resilient, sustainable and efficient supply chain, build up skills capability and commit to the long-term funding of battery research, particularly next generation batteries.

The UK needs to move quickly to secure investment in new gigafactories. By 2030, around 100 GWh of supply will be needed in the UK to satisfy the depend for batteries for private cars, commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses, micromobility and grid storage. This demand is equivalent to five gigafactories, with each plant running at a capacity of 20 GWh per annum. By 2040, demand rises to nearly 200 GWh and the equivalent of ten gigafactories.

Download the report, “UK Electric Vehicle and Battery Production Potential to 2040.”

Pam Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Faraday Institution said: “The UK is well placed to have a leading position in next generation batteries such as solid-state, lithium-sulfur and sodium-ion technologies. The UK is already home to global experts in battery research and to well-established companies. We must move quickly to exploit this competitive advantage by establishing large-scale domestic manufacturing in the UK while continuing to fund long-term battery research”

Stephen Gifford, Chief Economist, Faraday Institution said: “There is a growing sense of optimism that a highly productive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry can be built in the UK. By 2040, a successful industry could employ 170,000 people in EV manufacturing, 35,000 people in gigafactories and 65,000 people in the battery supply chain.”

Matt Howard, Chief Strategy Officer, Faraday Institution said: “The move to electrify transport and toward large-scale battery production represents a massive shift in industrial skills. The UK’s engineering and manufacturing workforce can gain a competitive edge over other countries through the provision of a national training curriculum that will ensure the right skills are delivered at the right time.”

Continued efforts needed

The UK Government, industry stakeholders and research organisations should celebrate the recent successes but keep up the pace and focus. The shake-up and unprecedented change in the global automotive industry will create winners and losers. The UK needs to grab the opportunity with concerted and coordinated effort by:

Summary of changes in key outputs of the report

Key changes in assumptions and modelling in the Faraday Institution’s 2022 report relative to the 2020 study are:

The result of these key changes for the 2022 report relative to the 2020 study are:

Download map and figures.

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Faraday Institution widens research scope to inform priorities for future research

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16 fast-paced “seed” projects launched 

 

HARWELL, UK (1 June 2022) The Faraday Institution today awarded 16 small, fast-paced, focused projects in areas not covered within its existing battery research portfolio. In doing so it has widened its research scope, and set of university partners, in an initiative that will inform future priorities for its research programme beyond March 2023.

The new seed projects, in the areas of anodes, electrolytes, cathodes, next generation technologies, applications and data management, and flow batteries, aim to deliver transformative results that may lead to a second stage of collaborative research beyond the initial exploratory work.

“These novel projects are in areas of application-inspired research that continue to strengthen the UK’s position in electrochemical energy storage and ultimately contribute to making UK industry more competitive,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution.

“With the initiation of these projects, we are delighted to welcome four new universities, Durham, York, Loughborough and Queen Mary University London, to the Faraday Institution community, bringing the total to 27.”

In total 14 universities are involved with the seed projects: Durham, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Nottingham, Imperial, Leicester, Loughborough, Oxford, QMUL, Sheffield, Strathclyde, Surrey, UCL, and York. The projects will run for a maximum of 12 months and represent a £2 million investment in research by the Faraday Institution. The funding round was highly competitive; it was oversubscribed by four times.

The two projects on flow batteries (a potentially transformative, low-cost energy storage technology for emerging economies), totalling £277,000, are being funded with UK aid from the UK government, via the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme. TEA is a research and innovation platform supporting the technologies, business models and skills needed to enable an inclusive clean energy transition.

Descriptions of the projects can be accessed here. The projects are:

Anodes

Project Principal Investigator University
Scalable and sustainable manufacture of Si anodes for transforming commercial batteries Professor Siddharth Patwardhan University of Sheffield
Operando PDF-CT for advanced batteries Dr Alexander Rettie University College London
Microwave assisted processing for interface tailoring of Si-C anodes (MAP IT) Professor Bala Vaidhyanathan Loughborough University
Silicon Evolve Professor Paul Shearing University College London

 

Electrolytes

Project Principal Investigator University
Exploring new electrolytes for next-generation Li-ion batteries Dr Wesley Dose University of Leicester
Phase-independent electrolytes for improved battery safety and recycling Associate Professor Paul McGonigal Durham University with the University of York

 

Cathodes 

Project Principal Investigator University
Manufacturing of advanced electrodes with green solvents – MAEGS Professors James Clark and Emma Kendrick University of York and University of Birmingham
Scale-up manufacturing of next generation ultra-high power Li-ion cathodes Professor Jawwad Darr University College London

 

Next-generation technologies

Project Principal Investigator University
Targeted design and testing of novel magnesium battery electrolytes for safe, high energy density storage Dr Stuart Robertson University of Strathclyde with the University of Sheffield
Demonstration of the lithium-air gas diffusion electrode and system scoping Associate Professor Lee Johnson University of Nottingham with University of Oxford
Rational design and manufacture of stacked Li-CO2 pouch cells Assistant Professor Yunlong Zhao University of Surrey

 

Applications and data management

Project Principal Investigator University
Battery multiphasE modelling for improving SAFEty (BESAFE) Dr Huizhi Wang Imperial College London
Hybrid electrochemical energy storage Professor Emma Kendrick University of Birmingham
Supercomputing capable battery data hub for scale and accelerated analysis Associate Professor Gonçalo dos Reis University of Edinburgh with University of Oxford

 

Redox flow batteries

Project Principal Investigator University
Advanced manufacturing of 3D porous electrodes for redox flow batteries Dr Ana Jorge Sobrido Queen Mary University London with University College London
Device engineering of Zn-based hybrid microflow batteries and by-product H2 collection for emerging economies Professor Dan Brett University College London

 

Launched just four years ago, the Faraday Institution has convened a research community of 500 researchers across 27 universities and more than 50 industry partners to work on game-changing energy storage technologies that will transform the UK energy landscape from transportation to grid.

The core Faraday Institution research programme encompasses 10 large, coordinated, multi-disciplinary research programmes on battery degradation, modelling, recycling, cathode materials, electrode manufacturing, solid-state, lithium-sulfur and sodium ion batteries, as well as a range of smaller projects: industry sprints, and industry and entrepreneurial fellowships.