Batteries and fuel cells

Our future sustainable energy systems critically rely on new energy technologies for energy conversion and storage. The 3D nano-/microstructure of the functional materials determine the performance and life-time of the components. It controls energy storage and energy conversion of for instance fuels and electricity. Examples of such components are catalyzers, gas cleaning membranes, fuel- and electrolysis cells, solar cells and batteries.

For the technological advancement it is crucial to achieve a fundamental understanding of the relationship between composition, strength, performance, efficiency, life-time and the flow of gasses, liquids and electricity. Neutron imaging is unique because large samples can be visualized while in operation, for instance a complete fuel cell or battery. One can visualize each constituent and flows of water, gases or even electrical current can be imaged. The figure shows a recent neutron image acquired at the large-scale neutron facility J-PARC in Japan. It shows a cross section of a half battery cell under discharge (left: charging, right: discharging) and here the movement of the Li-ions is clearly seen as they move into the graphite electrode.

Batteries and fuel cells

In SOLID we will combine mapping of the 3D microstructure with neutron and X-ray imaging with modelling of structure, flow and current or degradation and thereby be able to predict the life-time of the component. This fundamental understanding of the key mechanisms will pave the way for ground breaking technological advancements.

For further information contact PI's:

  • Luise Theil Kuhn, DTU
  • Susan Stipp, DTU
  • Shuang Ma Andersen, SDU
  • Joachim Mathisen, KU