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Battery research receives SEK 32 million boost

2012-09-17

Maria Strømme, Professor of Nanotechnology at the Department of Engineering Sciences, and her collegues have been granted SEK 32 million from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) to develop high energy-density batteries using organic materials.

The research team will receive SEK 32 million to fund the project ‘Light weight polymer composites for sustainable batteries’. The research is based on the algal cellulose batteries previously developed by Maria Strømme and her colleagues. The special nano structure of the cellulose in Cladophora algae was found to be perfect as the basis for environmentally-friendly batteries.

The aim of the current research project is to develop high energy density batteries using organic materials for a sustainable way of storing energy.

‘Naturally it feels very good to get this grant, and it shows that not just us in the project team, but also the international assessors think that our strive to develop sustainable energy storage based on organic materials is the right way to go’, says Maria Strømme.

‘There is a huge need to develop long-term sustainable, lightweight, high capacity energy storage systems for a range of applications’, says Maria Strømme. ‘For instance, propulsion and internal energy supply in vehicles, portable electronics, and storage systems for renewable energy sources. Today’s lithium-ion battery technology is dependent on inorganic materials and consumes minerals which only exist in a limited amount. The project is expected to result in batteries which live up to performance- and durability requirements that are high enough for battery use when todays lithium-ion batteries no longer are competitive.’

The board of SSF decided at their meeting 10 September grant six framework grants within the programme Materials 2011. The programme totals SEK 150 million while framework grants vary between 4 and 7 mSEK annually for five years.

The materials field of research spans several disciplines and is of great importance to Sweden. Today, Swedish materials research is of very high scientific class, according to assessments made by SSF and the Swedish Research Council.

Apart from Maria Strømme who is main applicant for the project, the following people are co-applicants:

  • Dr Martin Sjödin, Nanotechnology, Engineering Sciences
  • Assistant Professor Albert Mihranyan, Nanotechnology, Engineering Sciences
  • Professor Kristina Edström, Chemistry, Ångström
  • Professor Leif Nyholm, Chemistry, Ångström
  • Professor Adolf Gogoll, Chemistry, BMC
  • Professor Rajeev Ahuja, Physics
  • UU Projekt AB (Karin Meyer and Mateo Santurio)