November 19, 2020: A new European research collaboration between two leading academic institutes — the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (Fraunhofer ISC) and Wrocław University of Science and Technology (WUST) — was announced by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) in mid-October.
The two-year research project will explore the fundamental properties of carbon additives with focus on surface functional groups, and the effect they have on lead battery performance. Specifically, it will look at the impact on key performance indicators in lead batteries:
• Cold cranking amperage: The high discharge pulse power responsible for starting a car, rated at -18 °C for 30 seconds.
• Dynamic charge acceptance: The ability of a battery to accept instantaneous energy during charging.
• Hydrogen evolution reaction: The side reaction occurring on a negative electrode surface, which accelerates electrolyte loss.
Studies of these three performance indicators will use screening techniques combined with tailor-made carbons to examine how carbon chemistry interacts with lead and other common additives.
Carbons are a popular additive for enhancing battery performance, and this research project is building on existing research by using innovative techniques to conduct in-depth exploration of additive effects, according to the CBI, which has coordinated the partnership.
This knowledge is essential for improving the DCA of lead batteries and increasing their uptake in start-stop, micro and mild-hybrid applications, one of the fastest growing automotive markets worldwide and a vital market for delivering cleaner mobility.
Alistair Davidson, director of CBI, said: “Responding to market demand from the automotive sector, this new research project is building on collaborative workshops organized by the Consortium in partnership with OEMs and car companies over the last few years.
“It’s one of a new set of exciting projects aiming to enhance the performance of lead batteries to meet the technical requirements of start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles.”