Coventry University brings new capability to Faraday Institution LiSTAR project

We are delighted to announce that Coventry University has joined LiSTAR -- the Faraday Institution’s research project developing lithium-sulfur technology, bringing a new capability to the consortium and removing a bottleneck in cell manufacturing.

The LiSTAR consortium is led by UCL with existing contributions from Imperial, Birmingham, Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and Surrey. The project is leading the UK’s effort to enable rapid improvements in Li-S technology by generating new knowledge, materials and engineering solutions, thanks to its dual focus on fundamental research at materials and cell level, and an improved approach to system engineering.

Significant research progress has been made by LiSTAR since its inception in September 2019 and the team now has the need to scale up their research and verify promising results shown in coin cells to pouch cell scale. The Coventry team, led by Professor Alex Roberts, brings a cell fabrication capability available to all the consortium’s universities. He and his team will fabricate around 100 benchmark pouch cells with capacities beyond 2Ah, in a 5×7 cm pouch cell format.

Dr James Robinson, Project Leader of LiSTAR, UCL, commented, “Coventry’s flexible capabilities, agile approach, and ability to work with sulfur, is just what the project needs at this stage to demonstrate the capabilities of Li-S technology the project has developed so far at larger scales, and so move research quickly to its next stage.”

The pouch cells fabricated in Coventry will be used by:

  • the team led by Nuria Garcia-Araez at Southampton investigating promising Li-S electrolytes;
  • Monica Marinescu’s team at Imperial who will use the information from the more industrially relevant pouch cells to validate their Li-S specific battery models;
  • the cell engineering work package led by Dan Brett at UCL to develop diagnostics for Li-S cells at both a cell and module level.

The project will also benefit from Coventry’s reel-to-reel coating capability that will manufacture cathodes to be used by project teams across the consortium. In addition to providing an improved benchmark cathode, the new project capability will allow the most promising cathode materials developed within the project to be tested at a larger scale. By doing so the consortium will be able to more robustly demonstrate the commercial and industrial impact the research is achieving.

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO Faraday Institution, comments, “Coventry joining the thriving LiSTAR team part way through the on-going project is a prime illustration of the active management approach used by the Faraday Institution across its portfolio to direct effort towards promising areas and to bring in new capabilities as the projects advance. We welcome Coventry University, with its growing battery prototyping capability and expertise, into the community of our large collaborative research projects.”

Faraday Institution Industry Fellowships have previously been awarded to Professor Roberts and Dr Agata Greszta, who are have been making excellent progress in the development and demonstration of niobium tungsten oxide anode materials in prototype lithium-ion batteries. Their advances have helped Nyobolt attract investment. In a third Industry Fellowship involving a Coventry University researcher, Dr Tazdin Amietszajew is collaborating with Breathe Battery Technologies to advance battery management systems and cell behaviour tracking capabilities.

Posted on April 1, 2022 in Blog, Uncategorized

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About the Author

Sophia Constantinou is a science communicator with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh. She was a Faraday Institution undergraduate intern in 2020 and won an award for the infographics and podcast she created to explain lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

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