Fast Charging, Solid-State, Roll-to-Roll Processed Li Metal Batteries Enabled by Intercalated Ions in Cellulose Molecular Channels

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Program:
OPEN 2021
Award:
$2,600,000
Location:
College Park,
Maryland
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
06/24/2022 - 06/23/2025
Website:

Critical Need:

Broad electric vehicle (EV) adoption is currently held back due to lengthy charging times and limited access to recharging stations. EV batteries today cannot fulfill a fast-charging requirement because of the risk of lithium (Li) metal dendrite growth causing short circuiting, overheating, and even fire hazards, particularly given the flammability of organic electrolytes and low melting point of Li metal. Current efforts in developing solid-state Li metal batteries have focused on ceramic and glass solid-state electrolytes (SSEs). Processing these materials in thin films in a low-cost and large-scale manner can require significantly new manufacturing processes, material supply chains, and capital investment.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

The University of Maryland (UMD) recently invented an elegant and scalable molecular engineering technique for fabricating a cellulose nanofiber (CNF)-based SSE that could overcome many of these problems. Unlike current SSEs, the CNF-based SSE uses natural materials, is easy to process, and is compatible with conventional coating processes. It can also be inexpensively manufactured due to its low material cost and paper-like roll-to-roll manufacturing, both as standalone electrolyte films and the electrolyte portion of solid-state cathodes for lithium ion and metallic lithium cells. UMD’s CNF-based SSEs will be capable of enabling electric vehicles (EV) with high energy and fast charge, promoting U.S. leadership in the EV market.

Potential Impact:

UMD’s application of expanded cellulose as a disruptive solid-state polymer electrolyte can potentially address all the problems that have prevented fast-charging Li metal batteries.

Security:

UMD’s cellulose-based batteries will be capable of enabling electric vehicles (EV) with high energy and fast charge, ensuring reliable transportation.

Environment:

This technology could enable wider EV adoption, reducing U.S. reliance on fossil fuels that create harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Economy:

The price of the fast-charging CNF-based SSE is estimated be < 60 $/kWh, much lower than current commercial Li-ion batteries and other potential solid-state batteries.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Halle Cheeseman
Project Contact:
Prof. Liangbing Hu
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
binghu@umd.edu

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Release Date:
02/11/2021