Partnership forms around advanced battery technology

Proposed national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center will help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies aimed at reducing energy dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.
By Control Engineering Staff April 17, 2009
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Argonne, IL– The Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the University of Kentucky (UK) and University of Louisville (U of L) are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory to establish a national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications that will aid in securing U.S. energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in strengthening the economy.
“Advanced batteries will play a significant role in the future energy and economic security of the United States,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “At this time, nearly all large-scale advanced battery production is in Asia, with the United States having only limited manufacturing capabilities. To address this situation, the United States must quickly develop improved advanced battery technologies and significantly ramp up domestic production capabilities in order to become the hands-down global leader of these technologies.”
The center’s major goals would be to support the development of a viable U.S. battery manufacturing industry; make it easier for federal labs, universities, manufacturers, suppliers, and end-users to collaborate; develop advanced manufacturing technology to reduce advanced battery production costs; and accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at national laboratories and universities.
“The center will initially focus on lithium-ion battery manufacturing R&D,” said Mark Peters, deputy associate laboratory director of Energy Sciences & Engineering at Argonne. “In the long-term, the center would help in the development of technologies that would enable a significant increase in energy densities, including lithium-air and zinc-air systems for vehicle applications and advanced batteries for cost efficient and long-life grid power storage applications.”
The formation of a national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center has been endorsed by Ford Motor Company , as well as battery manufacturers, including those in the recently formed National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacturer, which was organized to produces advanced lithium-ion battery cells for transportation applications in the United States.
The center will be located in central Kentucky to leverage the expertise and research facilities at UK and U of L. Complementary R&D capabilities and facilities will also be located at Argonne.
Argonne is a multi-disciplinary research facility and a leading federal laboratory for transportation-related R&D. Argonne scientists and engineers perform basic and applied research on advanced materials and diagnostics for electrodes and cells; model battery life expectancy, and electrochemical cell design and performance; and test cell and battery systems. Argonne will dedicate research and other staff to support the center.
Cooperatively, Kentucky will be able to contribute expertise from UK’s Center for Manufacturing and Center for Applied Energy Research , the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative , University of Louisville’s Institute for Advanced Materials and Renewable Energy , Rapid Prototyping Center , Micro/Nano Technology Center , and Logistics and Distribution Institute , and the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America ‘s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science .
– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

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