In the News 2015

Renewable Energy’s Secret Weapon
December 29, 2015
As the world moves toward a grand vision of renewable energy, an underappreciated reality is dawning: You can’t do it without storage.
What it will take for Chicago to Lead Everyone Else in Clean Energy Innovation
Crain’s Chicago Business
December 21, 2015
Now that world leaders have inked a historic climate change deal, attention must turn from negotiation to innovation. There has never been a better time to be working in clean energy, and Chicago offers a formidable resume in this realm.
New Hybrid Polymer-Glass Electrolyte for Solid-State Lithium Batteries
Green Car Congress
December 21, 2015
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being compatible with next-generation cathodes.
Sony Pegs 2020 as Year of its High Capacity Battery
Tech Xplore
December 18, 2015
Li-ion cells will never give electric cars the 800-kilometer range of a petrol tank, or supply power-hungry smartphones with many days of juice. JCESR has been working on chemistry, technologies and partnerships that could eventually go beyond lithium-ion batteries.
The Impact of Next Generation Storage on the Electric Grid
Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago
December 15, 2015
Argonne National Laboratory’s George Crabtree, the director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), discussed the technological advantages, cost barriers and regulatory challenges to creating a time-shifting multi-source energy grid at an EPIC seminar on December 9th.
3 Big Things to Look Out For in 2016
December 11, 2015
We need a cheap way to store energy when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The only way to do that is through much more efficient batteries.
New Collaborative Approach can Reduce the Cost of Clean Energy by US$550 Billion Over the Next Decade
Environmental XPRT
December 1, 2015
While most of the technologies needed to complete the transition to a low carbon energy system already exist, their costs need to be reduced further and their deployment accelerated to have any chance of meeting 2050 climate change targets. Global collaboration can help on both fronts.
Better Batteries to Beat Global Warming: A Race Against Time
The Sacramento Bee
November 24, 2015
If batteries can get better, cheaper and store more power safely, then electric cars and solar- or wind- powered homes become more viable — even on cloudy days or when the wind isn’t blowing.
Berkeley Lab Hosts Bay Area Battery Summit
Brazil Business Today
November 9, 2015
More than 200 people attended the 2015 Bay Area Battery Summit at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Nov. 3 to discuss how to promote transformative energy storage technologies. The purpose of the Summit was to bring scientists together with policymakers and business to discuss what more could be done to accelerate vehicle electrification and grid storage.
Update on JCESR’s Progress Toward 5-5-5 Battery for EV and Grid Applications; Convergent and Divergent Research Strategies
Green Car Congress
November 5, 2015
At the Bay Area Battery Summit held at Berkeley Lab this week, JCESR Director George Crabtree gave an update on the Center’s progress toward the 5-5-5 battery and discussed how the Center is refining its approach now that it is almost three years into the five-year mission.
For Michigan Battery Lab, Path to Grid Storage Begins in the Garage
Midwest Energy News
November 4, 2015
The University of Michigan’s Energy Institute launched its new 2,700-square-foot Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility. The new lab will include JCESR-sponsored research being conducted by the university.
New Batteries Make Rapid Progress, but Market Expectations Move Faster
E&E Publishing
October 30, 2015
Crabtree has greater ambitions for JCESR than the small improvements the battery industry makes each year. With the program now halfway through its charter, researchers at JCESR have narrowed their focus to four promising approaches that could set the floor for battery performance much higher.
Is Battery Technology Finally at the Cusp of a Revolution?
October 30, 2015
We all know that the far-out ideas being pursued at universities, national labs and startups are critical to getting us where we need to go. But will investors fund these more pioneering technologies in an uncertain landscape? Might we be at risk of failing (yet again) to realize the promise of battery technology?
Perspective: The Energy-Storage Revolution
George Crabtree, JCESR Director
October 28, 2015
When the lithium-ion battery was commercially released, no one foresaw the disruption that it would cause in personal electronics. But there is an even bigger revolution on the horizon. As we move beyond lithium-ion technology, a new generation of cheaper and more powerful batteries will completely rejig the power grid and usher in an age of electrically powered transportation.
Lithium Batteries: To the Limits of Lithium
October 28, 2015
As far as lithium batteries have come, today’s technology is still limited. Many mobile phones cannot make it through a day without being recharged. Most electric cars can travel for only 160 kilometers or less before they have to be plugged in for hours to recharge.
Technology: A Solid Future
October 28, 2015
Swapping the liquid electrolyte in batteries for a safer solid-state interior is bringing electric cars to the mass market.
Could microporous polymers lengthen lithium-sulfur battery lifetimes?
EETE Power Management
October 19, 2015
JCESR scientists at Berkeley Lab claim to have found a solution to the polysulfide crossover battery efficiency problem with the development of a membrane made from polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs).
Better Batteries for Future Energy Demands
October 12, 2015
The Pacific Northwest Energy Storage Symposium at the University of Washington last month brought together more than 100 people from the private and public sector. A common theme was the need to lower the cost of next generation battery technologies.
Powering Up
R&D Magazine
September 9, 2015
Today’s batteries are too expensive and aren’t powerful enough. The next generation of batteries being sought by commercial companies, academia and government labs could dramatically change the face of transportation and the grid. Researchers are working on “beyond lithium-ion” solutions to bring battery power to the highest level.
How Tesla sparked the latest race for bigger, better batteries
Canadian Business
September 1, 2015
Battery makers are suddenly finding themselves with an explosion of new markets to service—both big and small. Big batteries are now being used in applications never before conceived of, powering cars, homes and industrial cranes.
How a New Battery Revolution will Change Your Life
Christian Science Monitor
August 30, 2015
Scientists and engineers have long believed in the promise of batteries to change the world. Now – finally – energy storage is beginning to live up to the hype.
MSU, Argonne Ink Memorandum of Understanding
The Dispatch
August 17, 2015
Partnership was the theme of the day as Mississippi State University and Argonne National Laboratory formalized a memorandum of understanding on August 13.
A Bridge to Better Batteries
July 7, 2015
JCESR Deputy Director of Research and Development Venkat Srinivasan discusses how JCESR is bridging the gap between government and industry with collaborative partnerships.
How Elon Musk Could Help You Save Money on Your Utility Bill
July 6, 2015
Until recently, battery systems were ill-suited to power anything larger than a golf cart. But big batteries are now being used in applications never before conceived of, powering cars, homes and industrial cranes.
Inside U of C’s Startup Factory
Crain’s Chicago Business
June 30, 2015
JCESR Director George Crabtree discusses how JCESR and the University of Chicago are partnering in an ambitious startup project.
New Manufacturing Approach Slices Lithium-ion Battery Cost in Half
MIT News
June 23, 2015
An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries developed by researchers at MIT and at a spinoff company called 24M promises to significantly slash the cost of the most widely used type of rechargeable batteries while also improving their performance and making them easier to recycle.
2035: Clean Energy Will Trump Fossil Fuels
June 22, 2015
Glenn McDonald from asked JCESR Director George Crabtree and others, “Will renewable energy sources surpass fossil fuels, globally, as our main source of energy by 2035?”
Lab Making Progress on Advanced Battery Storage for Cars, Grid, House Panel Told
Bloomberg BNA
June 17, 2015
JCESR Director George Crabtree spoke at a House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing on the hub’s strides in next generation battery technology.
Scientists Discover How to Make Safer Lithium Batteries
June 17, 2015
JCESR Principal Investigators Yi Cui (Stanford/SLAC) and Yet-Ming Chiang (MIT) have published a paper in Nature Communications on research that could make batteries safer by adding chemicals to the electrolyte to prevent dendrite formation.
A Dendrite-Free Lithium Anode – Better Batteries without the Fireworks
Electronic Engineering Journal
May 21, 2015
According to scientists, conventional batteries may be reaching their potential energy density limit. Figuring out how to get a lithium anode working would extend the energy density roadmap.
Tesla Unveils Home Battery: 5 Reasons It’s a Big Deal
National Geographic
May 1, 2015
The electric car maker isn’t the first to offer energy storage, but its impact on the market could be sizable.
Researchers Describe Method of 3D Printing Multiple Viscoelastic Inks from Single Print Head
April 21, 2015
Researchers have developed a method that could greatly reduce print errors and allow for seamless multi-material extrusion printing without the worry of alignment issues.
Beyond the lithium ion — a significant step toward a better performing battery
Nanotechnology Now
April 18, 2015
The race is on around the world as scientists strive to develop a new generation of batteries that can perform beyond the limits of the current lithium-ion based battery.
Electrolyte Genome Could Be Battery Game-Changer
EV News Report
April 15, 2015
A new material discovery could take years, if not decades, since trial and error has been the best available approach. But Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Kristin Persson says she can take some of the guesswork out of the discovery process with her Electrolyte Genome.
Erupting electrodes
R&D Magazine
April 10, 2015
Using a powerful microscope to watch multiple cycles of charging and discharging under real battery conditions, JCESR researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have gained insight into the chemistry that clogs rechargeable lithium batteries.
Why Future Superpowers will run on Super Batteries
The Christian Science Monitor
April 7, 2015
A global race is underway to find the great white whale of 21st century energy: the elusive super battery. It’s a race that will shape energy geopolitics for decades to come, experts say.
PNNL Team uses In Situ NMR to Gain Real-Time Information about Cycling Reactions in Li-S Batteries
Green Car Congress
April 7, 2015
Researchers at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have successfully used an in situ NMR technique to probe the transient electrochemical and chemical reactions occurring during the cycling of a Li-sulfur system.
Lab on the Cusp of Developing ‘Super’ Batteries
Washington Examiner
April 7, 2015
Scientists are developing a “super battery” that could fundamentally change the way the world uses energy. “The idea is to create a super battery that is economic and competitive” with fossil fuels, Jeff Chamberlain, JCESR executive director, told a packed auditorium at a forum hosted by the Washington-based Atlantic Council. Such a device would replace the gasoline used in conventional cars and trucks, while also being able to compete with natural gas and coal in generating electricity.
Author provides inside look at Argonne National Laboratory’s efforts to build a ‘super battery’
UChicago News
March 27, 2015
LeVine’s book, The Powerhouse, culminates with Argonne’s dramatically successful 2012 bid to host the U.S. Department of Energy’s battery innovation hub, to be modeled after the strong scientific management characteristics of the Manhattan Project and other efforts spurred by nationally declared goals.
Longer-Lasting Batteries Are Almost Here (Really!)
March 26, 2015
We hear about a new battery announcement every month. But the problem isn’t always the battery itself, but how hard batteries are to manufacture.
Further Advances in Battery Technologies are Needed for Smart Grid
March 2015
Lithium-ion batteries are improving too slowly to revolutionize the storage of electricity.
New device takes images of lithium battery as it works and recharges
March 23, 2015
To see what happens on the nanoscale, scientists at JCESR designed and implemented a small device, known as an operando electrochemical stage. Using this stage inside a state-of-the-art aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope they can take nanoscale-resolution pictures of lithium ions as they are deposited on or dissolve off of an electrode while the battery runs.
Apple’s Hugest Reveal this Week: Those Crazy new Batteries
March 13, 2015
The most exciting news from Apple this week was the new battery design in the MacBook. It’s a whole new way of thinking about batteries.
Battery Hackers are Building the Future in the Garage
March 11, 2015
A day trader cannibalized a Tesla to go off the grid. He is part of an unprecedented worldwide effort to amp up, transform and reinvent the humble battery into an element that could profoundly change the global energy paradigm.
The Greening of Chicagoland’s Job Picture
Chicago Life Magazine
February 2015
The City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, and the entire United States are in the midst of a quiet revolution in energy production—and in green jobs, or jobs related to clean energy and environmental protection.
Dendrite Eraser: New Electrolyte Rids Batteries of Short-Circuiting Fibers: Solution Enables a Battery with both High Efficiency & Current Density
Nanotechnology Now
February 24, 2015
As described in Nature Communications, PNNL physicist Jason Zhang and his colleagues have developed a new electrolyte that allows lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal and lithium-air batteries to operate at 99 percent efficiency, while having a high current density and without growing dendrites that short-circuit rechargeable batteries.
How Scientists Plan to Spark Future Battery Breakthroughs
February 20, 2015
Improvements in battery technology will have an impact on how people use devices ranging from mobile phones to electric cars — and they’ll also make it easier and cheaper to store the electrical grid power generated by solar panels and wind turbines.
Battery Powered: The Promise of Energy Storage
Foreign Affairs
March/April 2015 Issue
When it comes to energy, new technologies can upend the status quo almost overnight, surprising everyone.
Scientists Discover How to Prevent Dendrite Formation in Batteries
February 4, 2015
Large-scale use of high-energy rechargeable lithium metal batteries is limited by harmful deposits called lithium dendrites. A recent JCESR study evaluated the effect of an electrolyte additive that suppresses lithium dendrite formation.
Pushing America’s Automotive Industry Forward
January 12, 2015
The Department of Energy’s investments have resulted in the production of more than 4 million advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles, supporting the creation of approximately 35,000 direct jobs and saving more than 900 million gallons of gasoline.

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