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Photo-induced heating of Lithium-ion batteries for Low Temperature Operation

Project description

Lithium-ion batteries that work well in extreme cold

Cold weather affects lithium-ion battery life, reducing both efficiency and usable capacity. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the PLuTO project aims to improve lithium-ion battery performance at sub-zero temperatures. Leveraging the nanoparticle capability to efficiently and quickly heat up when illuminated by light, researchers will incorporate noble metal nanoparticles in the electrolyte. For a successful proof of concept of their idea, researchers will use a transparent electrochemical cell with a lithium-iron-phosphate cathode, selected owing to its capability to remain stable at extreme temperatures. If successful, project work could enable applications necessitating high-performance batteries in extremely cold temperatures, such as electric cars in cold climates and space exploration.


Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the most versatile all-purpose energy storage solution. However, LIB performance is strongly affected by temperature. In particular, at sub-zero temperatures, LIB performance is dramatically reduced. This is detrimental for LIB deployment in cold climates found in Northern Europe or high-altitude mountainous regions and hinders their widespread use in airplanes, high-altitude aerial vehicles and military and aerospace applications. The PLuTO project aims to develop a new viable approach to improve LIB performance at low temperatures. To this end, the PLuTO project will forge a photo-induced heating route for low temperature operation of liquid electrolyte batteries by incorporating in-situ synthesized noble metal nanoparticles suspended in the electrolyte, harnessing the nanoparticles capability to efficiently and quickly heat up when illuminated by light. Moreover, with a proper distribution of nanoparticles, uniform heating will guarantee a safe operation of the cell. The PLuTO project aims at achieving a first-time demonstration of photo-induced heating in a liquid electrolyte battery by using a transparent electrochemical cell with a LiFePO4 cathode (chosen due to its recognized stability at extreme temperatures). A balanced approach between computational modelling, chemical synthesis, fabrication and characterization will be implemented to investigate the influence of photo-induced heating in the electrochemical processes of the LIB cell and identify design rules for a suitable practical implementation in industrial/commercial applications. Finally, the research proposed within PLuTO is strategically positioned at the intersection between the optical-thermal-electrochemical fields and provides an excellent opportunity for the researcher to come out as a leading figure at the forefront of battery research, contributing to European competitiveness in the battery field.


Net EU contribution
€ 156 778,56
Avenida mestre jose veiga
4715-330 Braga

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Continente Norte Cávado
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
No data

Partners (1)