In the News 2018

Materials Science May Be the Most Important Technology of the Next Decade. Here’s Why
December 1, 2018
Think of just about any major challenge we will have to face over the next decade and materials are at the center of it. Manufacturers need new materials to create more advanced products—so in order to build a new clean energy future, we need more efficient solar panels, wind turbines and batteries.
Cornell Joins Battery Research Partnership
Cornell Chronicle
October 23, 2018
Cornell University is now a JCESR Partner organization. Chemist Geoffrey Coates research group will be part of the $120 million, five-year second phase of the project. Coates and his team will investigate the polymerics that go into batteries.
Joaquín Rodríguez-López Designs Batteries for a Sustainable Energy Future
Science News
September 26, 2018
JCESR’s Joaquín Rodríguez-López from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been named SN10 Scientist to Watch for 2018 by Science News magazine. Rodríguez-López, 35, has designed a new type of material to store electric charge in flow batteries, making them more efficient.
Batteries: The Power of Portable Power
Trailblazers Season 3, Episode 1
September 2018
Among the many things we can thank American polymath Benjamin Franklin for is the invention of the battery. His primitive device consisted of a jar designed to hold electrical charges passing from one spinning glass tube to another. We’ve come a long way since then. But, what exactly is a battery?
The Clever Engineering Behind the New iPhone XS Battery
September 24, 2018
While the new iPhone XS looks and works about the same as others, it contains an interesting Apple innovation that hides beneath the surface: a battery with a most unlikely shape.
Cheng Wins Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 Award
Science Magazine
September 20, 2018
Lei Cheng, an assistant chemist in the Materials Science division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has received a Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 Award. These awards recognize 40 emerging leaders in the Midwest for their contributions to the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy.
Argonne’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research to Receive $120 Million
Northern Public Radio
September 20, 2018
The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a research project devoted to battery science and technology will receive $120 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. Congressman Randy Hultgren of northern Illinois is a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He says research into energy storage is key in making renewable energy sources more accessible.
Energy Storage Grows by 200 Percent in U.S.
Digital Journal
September 19, 2018
Thanks to a thriving renewable energy sector in the U.S., energy storage — the batteries or other technologies that can store energy for at least four hours or even longer — has grown an astounding 200 percent year-over-year.
$120+ Million DOE Programs Target Energy Storage and Grid Resilience
September 19, 2018
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to provide $120 million ver five years to renew the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub devoted to advancing battery science and technology, led by Argonne National Laboratory.
DOE to Renew JCESR for Advanced Battery Research; $120M Over 5 Years
Green Car Congress
September 18, 2018
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will renew the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Argonne National Laboratory and focused on advancing battery science and technology. DOE plans annual funding for JCESR of $24 million, for a total of $120 million over the five-year renewal period.
The Race to Develop the Next-Generation Battery
China Dialogue
September 10, 2018
New uses for batteries are rapidly emerging, adding to the demand for better batteries. To meet these needs, the race is on to develop the next generation of batteries. But what they will look like and how they will improve upon current ones is still unknown.
New Battery Chemistries Offer Alternatives for EVs and Grid Applications
Design News
August 29, 2018
Materials scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are studying magnesium, lithium-sulfur, and flow batteries. These new battery advancements could one day serve to boost energy density and cut cost in applications ranging from electric cars to grid storage systems.
Lithium-oxygen Batteries are Getting an Energy Boost
Science News
August 23, 2018
Lithium-oxygen batteries, which are more energy-dense and made of more sustainable materials than typical lithium-ion cells, are promising candidates for the next generation of rechargeable batteries. A new type of lithium-oxygen battery could pack more energy and last longer than its predecessors.
New Electrolyte Improves Li-S Batteries
Chemical & Engineering News
August 16, 2018
As reported in Nature Energy, a team of JCESR scientists at the University of Waterloo and Argonne National Laboratory have designed a customized electrolyte solution that limits destructive chemical reactions and suppresses battery degradation.
How to Make an AI Project More Likely to Succeed
Harvard Business Review
July 19, 2018
AI isn’t just one technology, but a wide array of tools, including a number of different algorithmic approaches, an abundance of new data sources, and advancement in hardware. In the future, we will see new computing architectures, like quantum computing and neuromorphic chips, propel capabilities even further.
Funding for Advanced Battery Research Hangs in Balance
Design News
July 16, 2018
In its first five years, JCESR has been successful in meeting its ambitious goals. If renewed, the team will start at the atomic and molecular level to design batteries from the bottom up—creating materials atom by atom and molecule by molecule, where every atom and molecule has a prescribed role in meeting a performance spec.
Inside Form Energy, the Star-Studded Startup Tackling the Toughest Problem in Energy Storage
Greentech Media
June 18, 2018
Industry veterans from Tesla, Aquion and A123 are trying to create cost-effective energy storage to last for weeks and months. Research includes a JCESR aqueous sulfur formula for cost-effective long-duration flow batteries.
Optimizing Lithium-sulfur Battery Electrolytes for Long Life
May 24, 2018
In the future, lithium-sulfur batteries could hold more energy and cost less than lithium-ion batteries. A recent JCESR Chemistry of Materials paper details how the solubility and transport of polysulfide ions in the liquid electrolyte relates to the chain length of the polysulfide ion, the tendency of the ion to cluster, and the amount of lithium salt present in the electrolyte.
Keeping Tabs on Polysulfides in Batteries
Science & Technology Research News
May 17, 2018
Increasing the lifetimes of lithium-sulfur rechargeable batteries requires the prevention of polysulfide transport between electrodes during operation. Knowledge of how the salt and solvent molecules of the electrolyte interact with polysulfides helps in understanding their solubility.
We Need Real Scientific Breakthroughs to Build a Clean Energy Economy
May 13, 2018
Wind and solar energy have achieved grid parity in many places and, over the next decade, clean energy will become far cheaper than traditional sources. The sticking point is energy storage. While lithium-ion batteries have made great strides, they are approaching theoretical limits. We need to discover fundamentally new chemistries and, to do this, we will need to forge a new partnership between government and private industry.
Getting Magnesium Ions to Pick Up the Pace
Science & Technology Research News
April 18, 2018
Magnesium ions are doubly charged compared to singly charged lithium ions, so these batteries have the potential for storing more energy. In this research, JCESR scientists discovered and demonstrated design rules for identifying crystalline solids that magnesium ions can move through quickly—a critical property for faster charging batteries.
Battery Brings a Sustainable Future Closer with Every Breath
Clean Energy Finance Forum
April 3, 2018
A potentially transformative energy storage solution is being developed by a group led by Yet-Ming Chiang, MIT professor, and Zheng Li, assistant professor at Virginia Tech. Their research was published in the journal “Joule” in the article “Air-Breathing Aqueous Sulfur Flow Battery for Ultralow-Cost Long-Duration Electrical Storage.”
New Design Could Make Lithium-air Batteries Practical
March 22, 2018
Researchers at UIC and Argonne have designed a new lithium-air battery that works in a natural air environment. The new battery functioned after a record-breaking 750 charge/discharge cycles, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
The Battery Boost We’ve Been Waiting for Is Only a Few Years Out
The Wall Street Journal
March 17, 2018
The batteries that power our modern world—from phones to drones to electric cars—will soon experience something not heard of in years: Their capacity to store electricity will jump by double-digit percentages, according to researchers, developers and manufacturers.
New Generation of Batteries Could Better Power Aerial Drones, Underwater Robots
March 8, 2018
Many see lithium sulfur as the heir apparent to lithium ion as the dominant battery technology. They are encouraged by recent reports, some of which were conducted by JCESR scientists, suggesting that many of the technology’s performance and durability challenges can be overcome.
First Nanoscale Look at How Lithium Ions Navigate a Molecular Maze to Reach Battery Electrode
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
February 22, 2018
Lithium ions have to travel through layers of molecules in the electrolyte liquid before they can enter or leave a lithium-ion battery electrode. Tweaking this process could help batteries charge faster, as published by JCESR in Energy & Environmental Science.
China Powers Up
Chemistry World
February 23, 2018
Huge investments and cutting-edge research are helping China to pioneer innovations in clean energy technologies
U.S. Researchers Target Solid-State Magnesium Batteries
Materials Performance
February 8, 2018
JCESR scientists have discovered a faster magnesium-ion solid-state conductor that could lead to solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are energy dense and safe.
Magnesium Batteries Could Challenge Lithium-ion Market Dominance
Before It’s News
February 6, 2018
A multi-institution team of scientists led by Texas A&M University has discovered an exceptional metal-oxide magnesium battery cathode material, moving researchers one step closer to delivering batteries with better performance.
Big Leap Forward for Lithium Sulfur Cell Batteries
New Energy and Fuel
January 24, 2018
JCESR researchers at Berkeley Lab have reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.
This Startup is Using Pollution to Help Build a Clean Energy Future
January 6, 2018
A new startup, Baseload Renewables, is developing a promising new battery concept with a surprising ingredient, sulfur, which is a byproduct of petroleum refining and considered a pollutant. After decades of dependence on fossil fuels, we literally have mountains of the stuff, which makes it incredibly cheap. Ironically, we may have spent decades polluting ourselves into a green energy future.


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