Funding will further Understanding of High Energy–High Power Batteries Based on Sodium
What would happen if cars went all electric and there were ten or twenty more new Gigafactories built in the next decade? Or, what if lithium ion batteries (LIBs) went into widespread use for subway trains, busses, heavy trucks and solar energy power plants?
These transformative changes would slow down global warming, reduce urban pollution, and lead to thousands of new jobs. However, the demand for the batteries would outpace the supply, driving prices up.
Clarkson Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor David Mitlin and Assistant Professor Eunsu Paek have received a prestigious and highly competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences to perform research on high energy – high power battery materials that use sodium instead of lithium.
Sodium ion batteries (NIBs) are rapidly becoming recognized as a viable alternative to LIBs. Since sodium is much cheaper and nearly universally abundant, sodium batteries are especially attractive for large-scale use.
The $570,000 grant will fund work, which will be a combined effort to understand the basics of charge storage in pseudographitic carbons.
Mitlin, who is recognized as the inventor of pseudographitic carbons for sodium applications, will work directly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He will employ neutrons to understand the key aspects of high rate charge storage in such systems.
Paek, who is recognized for her important work in simulation of sodium and lithium ions at high rates, will lead the modeling effort. She will employ state-of-the-art supercomputers to examine ion–carbon interactions.
Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, New York and New York City, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations, and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.
[Photo Caption: Professor Eunsu Paek and Professor David Mitlin]