Research

In 2012 we launched JCESR with a bold vision: to create game-changing, next-generation battery technologies that will transform the transportation sector and the electric grid the way lithium-ion batteries transformed personal electronics. This bold vision addresses pressing national needs to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency, accelerate deployment of renewable solar and wind electricity on the grid, and modernize the grid. Since its inception, JCESR has pursued fundamental research and prototype development on three concepts of energy storage.

Multivalent Intercalation

One of the energy storage concepts being pursued by JCESR is multivalent intercalation. This concept involves replacement of singly charged lithium ions in the lithium-ion battery with new doubly or triple charged ions.

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Chemical Transformation

A second energy storage concept being pursued by JCESR is chemical transformation. This concept involves replacement of intercalation of the working ion at the anode and cathode with higher energy chemical bonds.

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Redox Flow

A third energy storage concept being pursued by JCESR is redox flow. This concept involves the replacement of solid electrodes with energy-dense liquids.

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Crosscutting Science

In support of these three concepts, JCESR employs crosscutting science, including:

  • computer simulation and discovery of battery electrodes in the Materials Project,
  • computer simulation and discovery of electrolytes in the Electrolyte Genome,
  • synthesis and characterization of electrodes, electrolytes and interfaces in the Electrochemical Discovery Laboratory, and
  • Multimodal characterization by NMR, electron microscopy, X-ray scattering and scanning probes

These crosscutting science tools enable us to identify, synthesize, characterize and understand new battery materials and phenomena at the atomic and molecular levels.

For full battery systems, JCESR applies techno-economic modeling to design virtual batteries on the computer. This enables us to project their performance and manufacturing cost, reveal shortcomings needing more focused research, and identify candidates promising enough for prototyping.

This integrated approach, JCESR’s new paradigm for battery R&D, unifies discovery science, battery design, research prototyping, and manufacturing collaboration in a single highly interactive organization. This new paradigm enables strategic focus on the most promising research opportunities and difficult challenges, establishes the basic science needed to pursue the most promising opportunities, and designs and prototypes beyond-lithium-ion battery systems.

JCESR’s collaborative teams that interact intimately across the R&D spectrum bring strong emphases on strategic intent, nimble reaction to discoveries, and collective decisions on research directions.

Research Highlights

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Videos

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  • Why We Need A Revolution In Energy Storage

    George Crabtree and JCESR scientists talk with Craig Benzine, host of PBS-sponsored YouTube show, “The Good Stuff” on why we need a better grid, the importance of energy storage on the grid and how all these things would confuse the ghost of Thomas Edison. Read More

  • JCESR Scientific Sprints - Better Polymers for Better Batteries

    JCESR supplements its traditional project management approach with scientific “Sprints.” The sprint described in this video involved a multidisciplinary team from Argonne, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan. As they studied how polymers in solution can … Read More

  • JCESR: Moving Beyond Lithium-Ion

    This video entitled, “JCESR: Moving Beyond Lithium-Ion,” gives an overview of JCESR’s goals and its vision to transform transportation and the electricity grid with high-performance, low cost energy storage … Read More