Kopernikus Supports Transformation of Energy Sector
The „Energiewende“ provides the expansion of renewable energies. To use the opportunities associated with this transformation and minimize their risks, it requires the development of economic concepts for usage and storage of electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources. These concepts are summarized under the term „Power-to-X“. They show a special potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the essential sectors of the German industrial location, namely power and energy, transportation and traffic and chemicals.
The Kopernikus project “Power-to-X” faces this challenge by creating points of interconnection between energy supply and material value creation.
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Batteries Come up for Air
Jülich, 9 May 2016 – At the moment, lithium-ion batteries are state of the art in energy storage. However, competitors are already waiting in the wings, including lithium-air technology. A team from Forschungszentrum Jülich and Technische Universität München recently found an explanation for the fact that these promising batteries so far only survive a few charge cycles. They demonstrated that the operation of lithium-air batteries leads to the formation of a particularly reactive form of oxygen. As reported in the current edition of the journal Angewandte Chemie, this singlet oxygen is probably responsible for the electrolyte rapidly decomposing and the carbon electrode corroding. This discovery will make it possible to selectively improve lithium-air batteries.
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HiTEC Graduate School
HITEC is a Helmholtz Graduate School of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the five partner universities Aachen, Bochum, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Wuppertal focusing on energy and climate research.
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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance with Low Magnetic Fields
A tiny component which amplifies measurement signals and suppresses noise is presented by Jülich and Aachen researchers in the current issue of Nature Physics. They developed it for nuclear magnetic resonance measurements in battery research. The method is typically used for imaging techniques in medicine (MRI) or the analysis of molecular structures in biology and chemistry (NMR). The receiver permits high sensitivity at low frequencies – without the extremely strong and expensive magnets which are usually required for precise measurements.
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Operando electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy – formation of mossy lithium on lithium anodes during charge–discharge cycling
The formation of mossy lithium and lithium dendrites so far prevents the use of lithium metal anodes in lithium ion batteries. To develop solutions for this problem (e.g., electrolyte additives), operando measurement techniques are required to monitor mossy lithium and dendrite formation during electrochemical cycling. Here we present a novel battery cell design that enables operando electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. It is shown that time-resolved operando EPR spectroscopy during electrochemical cycling of a lithium-metal/LiFePO4 (LFP) cell provides unique insights into the lithium plating/dissolution mechanisms, which are consistent with ex situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. To demonstrate the viability of the operando EPR method, two cells using different electrolytes were studied. When using an electrolyte containing fluoroethylene carbonate (FEC) additive, a higher reversibility of the lithium anode and reduced formation of micro-structured (mossy/dendritic) lithium were observed.
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Joint European Summer School on Fuel Cell, Electrolyser, and BatteryTechnologies JESS 2016