The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy plans to award $37 million in funds to 16 projects as part of ARPA-E’s program aiming to optimize energy storage and conversion technologies.
ARPA-E’s Integration and Optimization of Novel Ion-Conducting Solids program seeks new ways to process and integrate solid ion conductors into devices to help update transportation batteries, grid-level storage and fuel cells, the Energy Department said Tuesday.
“While battery technologies have improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years, there remain some imposing physical and chemical barriers that have stifled further innovation,” said ARPA-E Director Ellen Williams.
“Solid ion conductors made of affordable, easily produced materials could replace today’s mostly liquid electrolytes and expensive fuel cell parts, helping create a next generation of batteries and fuel cells that are low-cost, durable, and more efficient,” Williams added.
The IONICS team aims to use solid ion conductors as alternative to liquid electrolytes or expensive materials used in fuel cell stacks but solid ion conductors pose challenges in terms of low ionic conductivity and expensive processing, DOE noted.
The department added IONICS projects will use new materials and processes to achieve technology optimization goals such as an increase in battery energy capacity while preventing short circuits and battery degradation.
The complete list of awardees with project descriptions is posted on DOE’s website.