Abstracts for CEPS Projects with Industry

More abstracts will be published soon.

For the executive summaries of the specific project, please contact the CEPS Assistant Director Dr. Numan at: AbuMd.Numan-Al-Mobin@sdsmt.edu


Project 1: Polymer-based nanocomposites for lithium-ion solid-state

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. David Salem (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


Decades of research on solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) using polyethylene oxide, and some other low Tg polymers, have failed to deliver the ionic conductivity needed for commercial application in batteries. Ion transport in these polymers occurs by segmental motion of the polymer chains above Tg, but despite strategies to increase room temperature segmental mobility through addition of plasticizers and/or molecular modifications, conductivity (RT) has remained well below 10-3 S/cm, the minimum needed for viable battery performance. An alternative approach has involved the dispersion of fast ion conductor inorganic particles in SPE matrices, resulting in significant conductivity enhancements while remaining below the target threshold. A promising strategy to have emerged recently is the formation of SPE nanocomposites incorporating 3D networks of fast ion-conducting ceramic nanowires (e.g. electrospun LLZO nanofibers). Another development stems from the observation that strong ionic transport can occur without the aid of segmental motion in some rigid-chain polymers because of higher free volume from frustrated molecular packing. This project focuses on detailed exploration of these two approaches, with the overall objectives of (1) investigating parameters influencing ion conductivity in LLZO-nanofiber polymer composites, (2) designing advanced SPE/LLZO nanofiber composite structures, (3) advancing understanding of ion conductivity in suitable rigid-chain polymers, (4) demonstrating enhanced ion conductivities for one or both approaches, (5) conducting full-cell electrochemical characterization and prototype demonstration.

Project 2: Engineering Strategies to Address Interfacial Mismatch in Solid-State Lithium Batteries using Garnets and Polymer-Garnet Nanocomposites

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Qiquan Qiao (South Dakota State University)


The increasing energy demand requires energy storage for portable electronics and large-scale applications, such as electric vehicles, power grids, and aerospace. The all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) represent the next generation energy storage as a key to the environmental and energy sustainability. Garnet-based solid-state Li-ion electrolytes are broadly investigated due to close-to-unity lithium-ion transfer numbers, high mechanical strength, high shear modulus of ~55GPa, and good chemical stability against lithium metal. However, solid-solid interfaces between the garnet- based electrolyte and electrodes is the major constraint inhibiting practical implementation of these systems. To minimize the interfacial mismatch, the project is focused on addressing the interfacial incompatibilities of garnet-based electrolytes, specifically: 1) Comparative study of undoped and doped garnets and their characterization focused on compatibility with lithium metal; and 2) Design and development of novel engineering strategies focusing on polymer composites, surface chemistry, and surface topography to address the interfacial mismatch.

Project 3: In-Situ/operando analysis for mechanisms evaluation in solid-state battery materials

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee (Northeastern University)


In line with the CEPS mission, the Northeastern University (NEU) will apply spatio-temporal evaluation approaches to the structure, processes, and dynamics in solid-state electrolytes and nanocomposites. Specifically, the NEU site will provide in situ and operando spectroscopy and methods to identify lithium-ion transport mechanisms at the electrode-electrolyte interfaces comprised of new materials and materials architectures. The specific methods include synchrotron X-ray and Raman spectroscopy that enables unprecedented ability to map intercalation processes within short- and long- range atomic distances. The NEU team will satisfy the needs of industry partners by providing a complete surface and bulk information within the entire materials range of 10-3 to 10-9m. The applied methods will produce critical information regarding ionic/electronic transport in solid-state membranes, as well as the associated intercalation/deintercalation mechanisms within the anode/cathode host nanocomposites and at their interfaces. These approaches will enable fast development of new materials for the next generation of the solid-state energy technology and their accelerated transition to the global solid-state energy market.

Project 4: Optimization of the Antiperovskite Structure, Morphology, and Electrochemical Properties for LIB Solid-state Electrolytes and Nanocomposite Cathodes

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Alevtina (Alla) White-Smirnova (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


The total 2017 solid state battery market ($53M) will reach $1.4B by 2025 at 49% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2025. Even higher CAGR (54% from 2018 to 2025) is projected in Europe. However, the risk-adjusted CAGR can be lower due to prohibitive cost and insufficient performance of conventional solid-state electrolytes. To minimize these risks, the project is focused on optimization of a new class of glass-ceramic solid state electrolyte materials - antiperovskites. In comparison to other conventional solid-state electrolytes, e.g. garnets, antiperovskites are at least 50 times less expensive, and have significantly lower melting points (300-400 deg. C vs. >1600 deg. C for garnets) that enables battery manufacturing more economically viable. The objectives of this project are: 1) Comparative study of doped and undoped glass-ceramic antiperovskites and their material characterization, including compatibility with lithium metal; 2) Design of the dense nanocomposite cathodes based on the best performing antiperovskite electrolytes in regarding electronic/ionic conductivity and electrolyte-cathode interfacial resistance; 3) Electrochemical characterization of the electrolyte and cathode materials, and full electrochemical cells in a low-power battery prototype configuration (e.g. CR2032).

Project 5: Development of Functionalized Metal-Organic Frameworks as Lithium-Ion Solid-State Electrolytes

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Zhenqiang Wang (University of South Dakota)


The metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) possess versatile functionalities that are considered as potentially viable materials for electrodes and electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. MOFs enable effective tuning of their ionic/electronic conductivity and electrochemical properties. Incorporation of MOFs as electrolytes in solid-state batteries eliminates flammability, improves energy density, and provides morphological control to prevent lithium dendrite formation. The objectives of the project include: 1) Design, synthesis, and characterization of functionalized MOFs as solid-state battery electrolytes with minimized electronic and enhanced ionic conductivity; 2) Optimization of open metal sites and MOF structure for enhanced Li-ion transport and in-depth understanding of desirable MOFs as electrolytes for solid-state battery application.

Project 6: Additive manufacturing/3D Printing of the Next Generation Lithium-ion Solid-State Batteries

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Abu Md Numan-Al-Mobin (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing technologies lead their way to the next generation of the all-solid-state energy storage. From 2013 to 2018 the worldwide revenues from AM / 3D printing increased from $3B to $12B, and will exceed $21B by 2020. Development of the AM / 3D manufacturing for all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) will result in reduced manufacturing time and lower $/KWh cost. The companies equipped with this flexible manufacturing technology may obtain a competitive advantage over those using more expensive approaches. The AM / 3D technology opens new opportunities in terms of battery production paradigm and manufacturing capabilities. AM / 3D manufacturing will substantially reduce lead times, allow new designs to have shorter time to the battery market, and will permit customer demands to meet more quickly. The goals of this project are: 1. Develop and demonstrate the feasibility to fabricate batteries using AM / 3D processes as a game-changing technology, 2. Design and deliver a functional battery product, and 3. Demonstrate unique AM / 3D integration, processing, and packaging concepts to prove economic feasibility, reliability, and provide low $/KWh cost.

Project 7: Enabling Long Distance Travel of Electric Vehicles with Solid-State Battery Storage using Microgrid-Based Charging Stations

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Saurav Kumar Dubey (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


A microgrid is a series of interconnected demand loads having a stand-alone power generation potential with an ability to connect and disconnect from the main grid. An average electric car uses approximately 10 kWh for every 50 to 60 miles. The proposed study develops a framework for deployment of a series of charging stations powered by microgrids. The goal is to distribute the charging stations using distance-based mathematical models to allow sustained long-distance travel of electric vehicles within a defined geographical area of coverage. The micro-grids of interest are those that generate energy using solar and wind sources and store the produced electric power using solid-state batteries. The objectives of this project are: 1) A geospatial technical and economic feasibility study for micro-grid installation, operation and maintenance; 2) Development of a new class of location-allocation (LA) problem that will improve mileage of electric vehicles by means of strategic placement of charging stations; 3) Use coalitional game theory to enhance microgrid security and resilience by minimizing reliance on macro-grid generated electricity. Optimal load shifting policies will be formulated based on cooperation incentivized between a collection of micro-grids and the primary macro-grid; 4) Integration of the next generation solid-state battery technology into charging stations as a potential high energy density storage solution.

Project 8: Spatially-Resolved Operando Monitoring of All-Solid-State Batteries

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Joshua W. Gallaway (Northeastern University)


This project pertains to the degradation mechanisms that occur in all solid-state batteries during cycling, which are only beginning to be understood. As in all batteries, these can occur in several locations: the anode or cathode active materials, the bulk solid electrolyte, or at the interphases that form between the solid electrolyte and the active materials. In all solid-state batteries, the volume changes of active materials during cycling become more critical, as the solid electrolyte is less compliant than liquid electrolytes, leading to new electro-chemo-mechanical degradation mechanisms. To delineate the variation possible phenomena that may occur in all solid-state batteries, we propose a suite of experimental techniques developed in our lab to probe the interior of batteries spatially in a tomographic fashion, during cycling in realistic devices at realistic rates. The first of these is energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) which is a synchrotron-based technique that makes use of highly penetrating white light (50-200 keV) to accomplish diffraction from within sealed battery casings. The second is nanoprobe X-ray fluorescence mapping, which can resolve the chemical composition and redox state of particle surfaces. The third is operando Raman imaging, using a specially designed electrochemical cell. All three of these techniques have been previously applied to other battery chemistries in our lab and provide spatially and temporally resolved materials information.

Project 9: Quantum chemical methods to aid materials design in lithium-ion solid-state batteries

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Bess Vlaisavljevich (University of South Dakota)


High-performance computing and predictive computational modelling of a ceramics, glass-ceramics, and metal organic frameworks (MOFs) is essential for materials design to streamline their improvement and discovery for all-solid-state energy storage. In close collaboration with experiment, computational models provide molecular-level insights into the electronic structure, reactivity, and stability of materials. Specifically, density functional theory and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations will be combined with experiment towards understanding the key physicochemical aspects controlling energy transfer within phases and at interfaces. The team has expertise in multiconfigurational electronic structure theory and classical simulations, if the need to use these tools arises. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Provide computational guidance in materials discovery for the benefit of CEPS industrial partners; 2) Rapidily identify new materials for all-solid-state energy technologies; and 3) Elucidate structure-property relationships that can only be understood by a combined experiment-theory approach (e.g.the nature of lithum transfer at an interface or the adsorption of guest molecules in a MOFs).

Project 10: Grid-Compatible Inverters for Wind, Photovoltaic Solar, and Energy Storage Systems

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Malek Ramezani (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


Renewable energy contribution to the global energy consumption experiences a projected steady growth of 30% until 2023 with 70% growth of solar and wind power generation. However, the conventional power grids are not designed for adopting such intermittent resources. High penetration of renewables necessitates their contribution and service to the grid at abnormal and critical conditions such as voltage sag, frequency sag, fault, etc. This project involves: 1) Study and analysis of local, national and international grid code requirements and critical services which shall be provided to the grid in order to facilitate the integration of residential and utility-scale solar and wind energy systems; 2) Development of the control and synchronization mechanisms for the interfacing power electronic converters to provide the required grid services in a plug-nā€™-play fashion to advance current practices; 3) Integration of the required hardware and standard tests to verify the developed concepts and practices.

Project 11: Battery Remaining Useful Life (RUL) Model & Assessment and Online Battery Management System (OBMS) for Optimization

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. Huitian Lu (South Dakota State University)


To ensure a highly reliable and safe application of the LIB power, the online (real-time) battery management system (OBMS) is essential. The base function of an Online Battery Management System (OBMS) is to ensure the optimum use of the battery energy that powers the portable devices and to minimize the risk of battery damage (e.g. optimization of battery life and performance). These functions are achieved by real-time monitoring and controlling the battery charging and discharging processes. In OBMS, the electrochemical models are used to provide a correlation with the reactions that occur in the battery to validate and control the state of charge (SOC) and the state of health (SOH) for the online assessment.  The OBMS project will produce an online self-assessment model for the evaluation of the internal impedance, battery capacity, and the SOC/SOH. Furthermore, OBMS project will result in a self-assessment of RUL using performance protocols for decision making in regard to the system performance and optimization strategy. The OBMS adopts technology of sequential Monte Carlo optimal filtering based on state-space models. The OBMS will provide a real-time display of the system dynamics in correlation with the previously acquired data.     

Project 12: Life cycle analysis of the solid-state batteries

Lead PI / Presenter: Dr. James Stone (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)


Corporations are increasingly being held responsible not only for the environmental production footprint but also for the recycling or disposal of batteries they produce and use in their products. It is important to develop and manage the life cycle of a product prior to production to identify weaknesses and address them before they become liabilities. Efficient supply chains, production processes, use, and disposal plans within a robust life cycle analysis prior to production can enhance product marketability and investor confidence. Analyses of manufacturing can be conducted using data from Aspen and other process-design models and be used to quantify and numerically evaluate processing alternatives and to compare to existing products and amongst component and material sourcing options. Battery use and recharge/discharge cycles will be compared based on the scientific evaluations provided to that of existing batteries within Makersite. Life cycle evaluations will be conducted using proprietary, international supply chain options using Makersite and SimaPro to quantify environmental impacts following international standards and guidelines. Makersite contains a proprietary, international library of sourcing alternatives which will be used to assist in developing profitable and sustainable production processes and products.