Office of Research, UC Riverside
Juchen Guo
Associate Professor
Chemical/Environ. Engineering
juguo@ucr.edu
(951) 827-6472


CAREER: Materials and Interphase Engineering in Rechargeable Aluminum Batteries

AWARD NUMBER
009464-002
FUND NUMBER
33402
STATUS
Active
AWARD TYPE
3-Grant
AWARD EXECUTION DATE
12/28/2017
BEGIN DATE
1/1/2018
END DATE
12/31/2022
AWARD AMOUNT
$500,000

Sponsor Information

SPONSOR AWARD NUMBER
1751929
SPONSOR
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
SPONSOR TYPE
Federal
FUNCTION
Organized Research
PROGRAM NAME

Proposal Information

PROPOSAL NUMBER
17111446
PROPOSAL TYPE
New
ACTIVITY TYPE
Basic Research

PI Information

PI
Guo, Juchen
PI TITLE
Other
PI DEPTARTMENT
Chemical/Environ. Engineering
PI COLLEGE/SCHOOL
Bourns College of Engineering
CO PIs

Project Information

ABSTRACT

Electrochemical energy storage technologies play a critical role in the utilization of electricity generated from intermittent renewable resources such as solar and wind. Current rechargeable battery technologies including Li-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries cannot fully fulfill the requirements for sustainable energy storage in terms of stability, cost, and environmental impact. This project investigates a new type of rechargeable battery based on aluminum (Al) metal anode, namely Al-ion batteries. Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust; it is non-toxic, domestically available, and potentially low-cost. Furthermore, due to the charge state of the Al ion (its trivalency), the resultant Al-ion batteries can achieve the high capacity required by renewable energy storage applications. This research project will result in fundamental knowledge of the electrochemical processes and materials properties in the Al-ion battery systems. This project also provides new avenues for educational and outreach activities for underrepresented minority students in STEM through mentorship and Electric Vehicle club programs for local high school students and research opportunities for undergraduates of UC-Riverside.

The goal of this project is to gain a fundamental understanding of the electrochemical processes and materials properties in a rechargeable Al-ion battery system. The project's approach addresses the cathode, anode, and electrolyte as a unified system. The scientific and technical challenges to rechargeable Al-ion batteries are centered at feasible room-temperature, chloride-free organic electrolytes that are beyond Lewis acid ionic liquids. Aim 1 of the project focuses on understanding the solvent-salt coordination chemistry and its effect on reversible Al plating and stripping from Al-ion electrolytes based on organic solvents. Aim 2 addresses the formation and composition of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) on the Al metal anode, to design an artificial SEI for facile Al plating-stripping. New Al salts and additives for Al-ion electrolytes to eliminate chloride are also investigated. Aim 3 investigates the intercalation-type and conversion-type cathode materials and synergistically benefits from the first two aims on Al-ion electrolytes. The investigations will combine theoretical prediction and experimental validation to expedite the research progress.
(Abstract from NSF)