28 May 2020 - By Niamh Owen-McLaughlin

Virtual CBI workshop gives latest research updates from technical program

Virtual CBI workshop gives latest research updates from technical program

The Consortium brings together the breadth of players involved in the global lead battery industry, from battery manufacturers and recyclers, to materials suppliers, end-users and research institutes. 

The latest iteration of CBI Technical Workshops moved online last week with nearly 100 attendees coming together from all over the world to hear the latest results from CBI’s innovative technical program.

The first day covered research updates from CBI’s 2019 suite of projects, targeting fundamental research into improving lead battery performance for automotive and energy applications. 

First up was an update from UCLA’s project which is visualizing the dynamics of carbon-enhanced negative electrodes with scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). This was followed by an overview of a project between Exide Technologies and ICMA using neutron diffraction for the first time in lead battery research to reveal new techniques to explore lead batteries in-situ. You can watch a short video about this project here.

Up next was a progress update from Borregaard, working with East Penn Manufacturing, Hammond and Cabot on studying how to optimize the effect of additives on lead battery DCA performance. The project is systematically studying different ratios of the common additives used in lead batteries: carbon, lignosulfonate and barium sulfate. 

The session finished with an update from Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI) whose project is using a controlled overcharge protocol to enable lead batteries to meet the life cycle and TCO requirements of the emerging battery energy storage market, and to improve cycle life. You can read the full press release about this newly-launched project here

The second day of the workshop covered the remaining three areas of CBI’s core work: marketing, communications and standards and testing. 2020 will be an exciting year for CBI and the wider lead battery industry with the launch taking place later this year of an energy storage online tool bringing together the battery industry with customers in the utility and renewable energy space. 

Our communications and marketing session provided an update of the successful work of CBI in the last year promoting the essential and vital role of lead batteries for the increasingly important energy storage sector, and the new tools being utilized such as videos in sharing the latest research, innovation and key messages from our industry. Our LinkedIn and Twitter channels feature the latest communications updates from CBI. 

A key piece of work combining the latest innovation in lead battery technology and the importance of communicating this innovation to CBI’s key audiences and stakeholders is the European H2020 project proposal answering the LCBAT-8 call. If successful, the new project will develop new battery architectures providing higher energy density, performance and cycle life whilst maintaining excellent cost and sustainability benefits. This proposal demonstrates the key cross-industry partnership CBI fosters in the industry, bringing together expertise from partners including research institutes such as the ESRF, battery manufacturers, materials suppliers, universities and industry associations. 

 Following on from the successful project currently being undertaken at Argonne National Laboratory, where the synchrotron is being used for lead battery research in conjunction with the US Department of Energy, and a project at Missouri S&T where lead batteries are supporting a renewable energy microgrid, future opportunities for lead battery research are being explored in the US.

Day two finished with a presentation on standards and testing, a vital part of CBI’s work ensuring we are involved in key global standards discussions with the aim of guaranteeing the benefits of lead batteries are taken into account for a range of applications.

Our collaborative work with our members and partners across the globe is propelling the cutting-edge research and innovation into delivering the next-generation of lead battery technology. As the demands of society for a low carbon future result in an increased focus on clean mobility and clean energy, continued research into lead battery technology will be essential in ensuring lead batteries are poised to meet and grasp future opportunities.

By Niamh Owen-McLaughlin

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