Advance Development of Eco-Friendly Batteries Was Funded By A Grant From Aston University

Representative image of developing gel electrolyte materials in the lab CREDIT: Matt Derry

Aston University researchers, led by Dr. Matt Derry, are ready to revolutionize lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles and electronics, by exploring the use of gel electrolyte materials. With a £443,058 grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the team aims to develop safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly gel electrolytes, replacing current harmful components and enhancing battery safety.

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The project focuses on creating renewable ionogels that conduct electrically charged ions. By utilizing non-harmful, non-flammable, and renewably sourced materials, the researchers aim to address current shortcomings in energy storage. The gel electrolytes, designed to prevent battery leaks, will replace current  flammable components.

The team’s goal, that was presented in a recent publication in Chemical Science, demonstrates the generation of ionogels through a novel block copolymer synthesis in an ionic liquid. This innovative research program supposed to deliver responsive ionogel materials that are sustainable and easier to manufacture.

The research aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 on affordable and clean energy, addressing the global need for sustainable energy storage solutions. The ongoing research has already led to positive outcomes, with PhD student Georgia Maitland, securing a post-doctoral researcher position at Aston University.

The  research project started on March 1, 2024 is expected to conclude in February 2027. It will be a crucial step towards advancing battery technologies and building sustainable future.

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