5 May 2022

CBI, INMA & Exide Group Project Update

Using neutron diffraction to improve the lifetime of energy storage lead batteries

There are clear goals from the EU to decarbonize and decrease the reliance on fossil fuels. Understanding the fundamental contributors to lead battery failure at a molecular level will enable stronger cycling performance of lead batteries in all applications, such as microhybrid and energy storage applications. Batteries in these applications serve as the main tool to decarbonize the European utility grid and automotive fleet, the most important areas underpinning the EU Green Deal.

The main objective of this project is to analyze the different electrochemical processes and reactions that take place inside the battery electrodes during operation. To this end, CBI, INMA, and Exide Group are using, for the first time, in-operando neutron scattering techniques by placing real operating cells, built using the same components as in the factories, in a neutron instrument and collecting diffraction patterns and images from inside the cell, with both spatial and time resolutions, during the charge and discharge processes.

Also using neutrons because its penetration capacity in matter is much higher than that of other particles, as X-rays or electrons, used until now for battery analyses. In this way, it's possible to study real thick cells, about one centimeter in thickness, in real operating conditions.

This is an approach never used before in lead cells.

INMA's laboratory

Learn more about this project through our project update video:

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