Brookhaven National Laboratory has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for “Battery500 Phase 2,” which involves research aimed at understanding and improving materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Stony Brook is a partner in Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, managing the Laboratory for the DOE.
“President Biden’s administration wants to make it easier for millions of American families and businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a DOE statement announcing the funding. “By developing smarter vehicle batteries, we can make these technologies cheaper and more accessible, while positioning America to be become a global leader of EV infrastructure production and clean energy jobs.”
As partners in Battery500 Phase 2, which is led by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a team of scientists — including Peter Khalifah, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University who holds a joint appointment at Brookhaven Lab — will conduct studies to identify battery electrode materials with increased energy density. Such materials could reduce the size and weight of batteries used in electric vehicles and/or extend the vehicle’s driving distance for a given battery weight with better safety characteristics. Identifying lower-cost materials is another primary goal.
The total budget of Battery500 Phase 2 is $75 million for the next five years. It is a renewal of funding for the original Battery500 Consortium, which was established in 2016.
Under the new funding arrangement, Brookhaven Lab will receive $1.3 million per year for the next five years. Khalifah, along with Brookhaven associate chemist Enyuan Hu, will serve as the two leaders of a cross-cutting thrust on materials characterization within the consortium.
In the next five years, the Brookhaven team will continue their efforts to develop and deploy sensitive characterization techniques that can illuminate the changes that occur in lithium metal anodes, metal oxide and sulfur cathodes, and new electrolytes during their use in rechargeable batteries. These efforts will help understand and overcome the factors limiting the performance of this exceptionally high-energy density class of batteries and will accelerate the rate at which this technology can become commercially viable.