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New Battery Facilities Will Help Accelerate Commercialization of Technologies

Argonne will soon have three new battery facilities to bolster its research and development of battery materials and batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and all other electric vehicles.

The Lab was recently awarded $8.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to build a Battery Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility, a Materials Pro- duction Scale-Up Facility and a Post-Test Analysis Facility.

After more than a decade of experience in lithium-ion battery research, Argonne scientists are well aware of the challenges of getting manufacturers interested in advanced materials for their batteries. The new facilities will help to greatly accelerate this process.

“Argonne has developed a great number of new and innovative battery materials but most never make it to industrial production,” said Gregory Krumdick, a principal systems engineer at Argonne, who will lead the Materi- als Production Scale-Up Facility. “This facility will be the link to connect the bench-scale research with the battery manufacturing industry.”

He said the purpose of the facility is to develop manufactur- ing processes for producing advanced battery materials in sufficient quantity for industrial-scale testing.

“Processes developed in the lab are not always suitable for large-scale production,” Krumdick said. “This facility will pro- vide the means to scale up these processes, as well as to actu- ally produce larger quantities of the materials for evaluation.”

At existing Argonne battery testing labs, researcher Gang Cheng conducts an experiment to detect moisture in battery electrolytes. Moisture is detrimental to the performance and longevity of battery cells.

“Post-test analysis is the natural extension of the battery test- ing that Argonne has been doing for many years,” he said. “As a battery ages during use or testing, performance degrades and changes occur in the battery materials. Post-test analysis lets us see what physical changes occurred.”

The Materials Production Scale-Up Facility will receive $5.8 million of the ARRA award.

Bloom said his facility will be up and running in the next two years. Its activities’ data will inform scientists and engineers of deficiences so they can make improvements in battery performance and life.

Dennis Dees, an electrochemical engineer at Argonne, will help oversee the new Prototype Cell Fabrication Facility.

“This facility will create a direct pipeline between materials research and battery developers,” said Dees. “It will greatly reduce the time to get battery improvements into production.”

For more information, contact Ira Bloom ira.bloom@anl.gov

Dees said the laboratory will spend $1 million on equipment designed to improve the quality and evaluate the performance of newly fabricated cells.

Ira Bloom, a chemist at Argonne, will run the Post-Test Analysis Facility, which is slated to receive $2 million in ARRA funding.

Dennis Dees dees@anl.gov

Gregory Krumdick gkrumdick@anl.gov



Summer 2010


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