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STTR Phase I:Manufacturing nickel and cobalt-free cathodes for high-energy and low-cost lithium-ion batteries

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2233272
Agency Tracking Number: 2233272
Amount: $275,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: M
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-551
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-02-29
Small Business Information
2200 Kraft Drive Suite 1050 #316
Blacksburg, VA 24060
United States
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Zhengrui Xu
 (540) 260-5513
 zhengruixu@fermienergy.org
Business Contact
 Zhengrui Xu
Phone: (540) 260-5513
Email: zhengruixu@fermienergy.org
Research Institution
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 
300 TURNER ST NW STE 4200
BLACKSBURG, VA 24060
United States

 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

The broader/commercial impact of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to facilitate the adoption of battery electric vehicles in the US by securing the supply chain, reducing battery cathode cost, and enhancing US-innovated battery manufacturing. This project will address the several challenges facing the US battery industry.First, the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cathode materials use scarce and expensive elements, such as cobalt and nickel.Second, the US battery manufacturing capability needs to be improved in order to meet the rapidly growing demand, cathode materials production is especially important.Third, current lithium-ion battery cathode manufacturing involves costly liquid and gaseous waste management. The proposed technology will create fundamentally new ways to produce next-generation cathodes for American electric vehicles. This project can significantly impact the battery field since the proposed new cathode technology is expected to result in a major cost reduction per electric vehicle battery pack. Advances in novel cathode chemistries and manufacturing processes offer new opportunities for the US to establish the leadership in cathode innovation and manufacturing. _x000D_
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This project develops a fundamentally disruptive technology to enable the use of low-cost, cobalt- and nickel-free oxide cathodes in high-energy lithium-ion batteries. The dry manufacturing technology will be uniquely combined with new materials development to enable stable battery cycling with a 700 Wh/kg specific energy at the cathode materials level. The technology is compatible with mainstream lithium-ion electrolytes and anodes, which makes full-cell integration feasible and practical at the commercial scale. The research and development objectives include: (1) design, manufacturing, and characterization of new cobalt- and nickel-free oxide cathode chemistries with abundant and low-cost elements, (2) develop cathode electrodes with controllable physical properties based on an all-dry electrode preparation process, and (3) integrate the graphite anode and electrochemical measurements under various practical testing conditions. This project proposes to combine materials synthesis and electrode powder mixing and to avoid the costly materials storage and handling between cathode powder production and cathode electrode manufacturing. The successful development of the technology will enable low-cost, high-energy, dry-processed, and US-manufactured battery cathodes for more affordable and reliable electric vehicle batteries._x000D_
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This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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