The UK’s University of Surrey is to begin work on a new lithium-ion battery technology that is capable of capturing CO2 emissions, following an award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The project, which will be led by Dr Yunlong Zhao, will undertake research into state-of-the-art batteries that use Li–CO2 electrochemical technology. Crucially, the research will look to achieve a breakthrough in efficient CO2 fixation to store energy.
The EPSRC has bestowed Dr Zhao with its prestigious New Investigator Award. Dr Zhao is Lecturer in Energy Storage and Bioelectronics at Surrey’ Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and he is also Senior Research Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
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It is hoped that the work, which is supported by industry partners, will catapult the United Kingdom as a leader in portable energy storage, giving rise to many new innovations and intellectual property.
Dr Zhao said: “The move to carbon neutral forms of energy supplies is critical to the long-term health of our planet and we are hopeful that our ambitious new project will help to address this need. This project will look at fundamental studies of electrochemical mechanisms through a multimodal in situ characterisation platform developed in collaboration with NPL.”
Professor Fernando Castro, Head of Science, Electromagnetic and Electrochemical Technologies at NPL, said: “The UK Government has committed to reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. This project is well-aligned to the national strategy in clean energy and sustainability. Technologies based on this unique Li-CO2 battery and on-chip multimodal measurement platform have significant potential to be taken up by UK SMEs and industries.”
Professor Ravi Silva, Director of ATI at the University of Surrey, commented: “At the University of Surrey, we are not afraid of thinking outside of the box and thinking big – because big ideas are often required to tackle grand challenges. We are confident that this incredibly exciting, multidisciplinary project will lead to the fabled fundamental shift in battery technology.”