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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Preparation and characterisation of a rechargeable battery based on a conductive polymer and aluminum in an ionic liquid electrolyte

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Energy storage devices like rechargeable batteries have currently a minor contribution to the challenges of the energy conversion to sustainability. Nevertheless, the growth of renewable energies will define the energy storage devices as an indispensable element of the power grid. Therefore, it is necessary to overcome the main problems of current high performance batteries like safety, an upper capacity limit and confined raw material resources. This project proposes the concept of a non-aqueous rechargeable battery characterised by safe cell reactions, a high storage capacity and earth-abundant materials like aluminum and conductive polymers.

Project Overview

The combination of the so far independently considered cell reactions, reversible deposition of aluminum and intercalation of three-dimensional conductive polymers in ionic liquids, provides a "rocking chair" battery in a novel approach.

Early proof of concept studies of the battery system with promising results have been performed with the current collaborative project partner, Hokkaido University (Japan) and the Technische Universität Ilmenau (Germany). The further work and the continuation of the partnership aim a detailed understanding of the complex mechanisms of the half-cell reactions and the improvement of the battery performance in order to compete as sustainable alternative for high performance batteries.

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