Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?
Highlighting research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes
Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.
What is the aim of this project?
This project, under the Hydrogen TCP Task 40, aims to discover and design new hydride materials to use as electrodes and electrolytes in solid state batteries. The safety and energy density of batteries needs to be increased because the energy transition to fully renewable sources such as wind and solar requires more efficient electricity storage. Nowadays, electrolytes used in batteries typically consist of salts dissolved in flammable organic solvents. Solid electrolytes could prevent the growth of dendrites – metallic filaments that form on electrodes – overcoming the safety risks associated with flammable organic solvents and increasing the energy density and lifetime of batteries.
How could the project be explained to a high school student?
Energy storage is becoming increasingly important as it enables the use of more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thus protecting the climate. But to store energy as electricity, we need safe and efficient batteries. The batteries we use now pose safety problems because the ionic charge passes through liquids (electrolytes) that can catch fire and can damage the electrodes in the battery. Efficient solid electrolytes would facilitate the development of a range of emerging technologies, such as all solid state batteries.
Hydrides are chemical compounds containing hydrogen and they are key compounds for new battery applications. They have long been used as negative poles in Ni-MH alkaline batteries, currently used in some electric cars. New fields of research have them used as positive poles in batteries. In addition, complex hydrides show excellent ionic conductivity and are foreseen to replace the flammable liquid now in between the two poles. Using solid hydrides as electrolytes and electrodes could make batteries safer and enable them to store more electricity. New hydride materials are being discovered and designed, and show how hydrogen can be used in conjunction with other battery energy storage technologies.
How does the project help to achieve climate and energy goals?
What government policies could advance this project or activity?
In-kind support from partners, specific projects from partners.
Expected project duration
About the Hydrogen TCP
Established in 1977, the Hydrogen TCP works to accelerate hydrogen implementation and widespread utilisation in the areas of production, storage, distribution, power, heating, mobility and industry. Members benefit from the TCP’s global research outreach and robust industry participation.
Thank you for subscribing. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of any IEA newsletter.