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Batteries – Speeding production

ORNL researcher and University of Tennessee Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education student Seong Jin An works with lithium-ion batteries undergoing an ORNL-developed fast-formation protocol that shortens part of battery production by up to 90 percent.

February 2, 2017 – A new process developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory could alleviate a bottleneck in battery manufacturing and deliver higher capacity batteries for electric vehicles and consumer devices. The formation process – where batteries undergo repeated cycling to stabilize and activate them for use – is one of the most time- and energy-intensive production steps. The researchers’ new fast-formation protocol could substantially shorten that time, reducing it by up to 90 percent and saving costs and energy. The ORNL method, published in the Journal of Power Sources, also conserves lithium, which improves battery capacity. “The process is applicable to all lithium-ion batteries and can be tuned for other chemistries as well,” said principal investigator David Wood.