A Materials Perspective on the future of Energy Storage in the Grid and Transportation


Driven by a tremendous societal need to store electrical energy, the demand for batteries has grown aggressively in the last two decades, with Li-ion technology now dominating most large markets.  Li-ion batteries, based on a graphitic anode and cathodes from the NMC family, are highly advanced and have penetrated automotive as well as grid applications.  Due to the tremendous growth of the industry it is projected that Li-ion batteries will consume more than 75% of the Co supply and 25% of the high-quality Ni supply in less than ten years.  I will discuss the status of several novel technologies that may have the potential to improve upon the energy density and cost of today’s Li-ion batteries.  Novel fluorinated disordered rocksalt cathodes (DRX) have been shown to have very high energy density and excellent high voltage stability, without the use of Co and Ni, offering potential low-cost, and less resource constraint alternatives to today’s NMC cathodes.  Solid-state lithium batteries may enable the use of metallic lithium anodes but serious challenges remain with regards to the long-term interfacial stability of many of the materials used, and their manufacturability.  Finally, I will give an update on the status of cathode and electrolyte research for divalent intercalation systems such as those based on Mg2+ and Ca2+.

Gerbrand CEDER
University of California at Berkeley