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ENERGY DEVICES

Electrochemical energy storage and conversion devices (EESCDs), such as batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells are of central importance to national and global electrical energy systems. Electric vehicles and implementation of intermittent alternative energy production by solar or wind devices requires close coupling to EESCDs. In this thrust, we will investigate, develop, and demonstrate enabling materials, devices and systems for electrical energy storage and conversion. The node leaders of this thrust are all experts in the EESCD field with both practical and academic experience, and a specific goal is to ensure that more Tennessee students and researchers play a part in this area by leveraging that expertise. By creating and fostering this team, we will make knowledge bases and resources available statewide.

 

Approach

-Develop new low-cost alkaline membranes, catalysts and electrodes for AFCs.
-Develop and optimize membrane fabrication through synergistic combination of materials development, experimental evaluations, and theoretical computations.
-Develop improved battery and fuel cell materials through understanding of polymer electrolytes.
-Combine new methods of testing, materials development and modeling to advance RFB technology.
-Improve performance of Li-ion and Li-metal batteries via improved transport and deposition processes.
-Improve advanced carbon structures under development at Vanderbilt to provide higher performance.

 

Planned Infrastructure Improvements

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New faculty expertise (nanomaterials and energy, chemical engineering and energy storage)
-New instrumentation for the fabrication and characterization of battery and fuel cell materials and devices
-Improved access to SOTA equipment
-Network of interactions with in-state industry, community colleges and K-12 education

 

Anticipated Outcomes

-Development of new nano-structured materials (membranes, carbon, catalysts) with properties demonstrated in device applications.
-Improved understanding of the transport of ions and reagents within electrolyte membranes and electrodes.
-Improved performance of several types of fuel cells and batteries through the use of advanced materials and nanostructures.