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The University of Southampton

Chemistry at Southampton leads the charge in new battery technology

Published: 6 October 2017

The University has been named as one of seven UK universities that will lead pioneering research into the next generation of battery technology as part of a new £65m national institution.

The Faraday Institution will shape research in developing battery technologies and their real-world applications.  It will combine expertise from universities and industry to deliver a research and training programme that is designed to keep the UK at the forefront of new battery technologies.  The Institution aims to lead the transition to electric vehicles, and then in the convergence of the digital and electrified economy.  With the number of electric cars and trucks set to rise worldwide from 1.7 million to 5.3 million by 2020 it is clear that more efficient battery technology is needed in order to alleviate anticipated pressure on the National Grid.

Electrochemistry is at the heart of battery science and fundamental to understanding the process – everything that goes on inside the battery involves chemistry.  Head of Chemistry, Professor Gill Reid says “Chemistry at the University of Southampton hosts the largest concentration of electrochemists in a single university department and so we are extremely well placed to contribute strongly to the research projects within the Faraday Institution, as well as the training of the next generation of battery scientists that will be required to deliver on its vision.”

Southampton was selected as a founding partner because of its international reputation, heritage and facilities in battery technology and electrochemistry.  Staff including Dr Nuria Garcia Araez, Professors John OwenBrian Hayden and Andrew Hector, have active projects in battery research. Professor Phil Bartlett, Head of the Electrochemistry Group is the current President of the International Society of Electrochemistry. The Group has delivered training in electrochemistry for international industrialists for over 50 years, through its annual Electrochemistry Summer School.

The expertise of University staff in materials chemistry and computational chemistry will also contribute to the work in the Faraday Institution.

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