A £55 million (US$67.8 million) fund has been earmarked for five projects in the UK looking at developing the next generation of battery storage technology.

The government-led Faraday Institution has allocated the funding to five consortium-led projects with the aim of overcoming battery challenges, in particular by improving performance and cost characteristics. The projects will look at chemistries, systems and manufacturing methods of batteries used for grid storage, electric vehicles and other applications.

Tanjent's PowerBanx X battery storage, in pale grey enclosure (Image: Tanjent)

Tanjent’s PowerBanx X battery storage, in pale grey enclosure (Image: Tanjent)

The projects are expected to run over a four-year period, split into four focus categories:

Next generation lithium-ion cathodes

Two projects will explore this focus. The first, dubbed FutureCat, is being led by the University of Sheffield. It is looking to deliver cathodes that hold more charge and are better suited to withstanding prolonged cycling, as well as promote ion mobility. This would increase the durability of the battery and the range and acceleration of an electric vehicle.

The second project, CATMAT, is to be led by the University of Bath, with the intention of discovering novel cathode materials, scaling up the synthesis of the most promising materials and assimilating them into fully integrated battery cells to demonstrate performance.

Lithium-sulfur technology

UCL is to lead this project, which aims to enable “rapid” improvements in lithium-sulfur technology, which it says could take batteries beyond the “inherent limitations” of lithium-ion, which is the current dominant chemistry in electric vehicle batteries.

Read more: Energy Storage News