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ARPA-E Selects 2 Ceramic Electrolyte Solid-State Battery Projects For $6.6 Million Award

A total of $6.6 million in new funding has been awarded by ARPA-E to two projects currently working to develop manufacturing techniques for ceramic electrolytes for solid-state electric vehicle batteries, as part of a new 2015 OPEN funding round. The new round is seeing $125 million awarded to 41 different projects.

The $6.6 million will be divided thusly: $3.5 million going to a consortium headed by the University of Michigan, and $3.1 million going to Corning Incorporated.

For some basic background here, solid-state lithium batteries are a promising technology owing to the fact that energy density could potentially be doubled from that of the lithium-ion batteries currently in use. Another possible advantage is the elimination of the use of conventional flammable electrolytes.

Here’s a brief overview of the two projects via Green Car Congress:

In a project labeled “Transitioning Advanced Ceramic Electrolytes into Manufacturable Solid-State EV Batteries,” researchers at the University of Michigan and partners will develop new electrode structures and manufacturing techniques to incorporate Lithium (Li)-conducting ceramic electrolytes into solid-state batteries. The U-M project is led by Jeff Sakamoto, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, who is also affiliated with with U-M’s Energy Institute. Like many energy storage researchers, Sakamoto has been exploring solid-state batteries, which don’t use a liquid electrolyte. Liquid electrolyte contributes to many of the lithium-ion battery’s limitations. His APRA-E proposal aims for an inexpensive, highly efficient solid-state battery that is tough and safe enough to power a vehicle.

In Corning’s project, “Roll-to-Roll Processing Ceramic Battery Electrolyte,” researchers there will develop roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques to produce thin ceramic electrolytes for solid-state batteries. The technology developed in this project is intended to enable solid-state batteries to be produced economically and at high volumes.

As always with battery research… Don’t hold your breath. Nonetheless, this seems worth taking note of.

 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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