The development of battery materials with higher energy density, higher power density, better safety, lower cost, and faster charging is needed to further the electrification of the transport and energy sectors.

The research group is looking into the development of several different chemistries, including lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, and solid-state batteries. For lithium-ion batteries, there has been focus on nickel-rich cathode materials due to their higher energy density and the need to reduce reliance on unethically-sourced cobalt. Sodium-ion batteries are promising due to the relative abundance of sodium and their low cost compared to lithium-based batteries, despite a lower energy density they may prove to be a promising technology for stationary energy storage. Batteries using a solid electrolyte (ceramic or polymer gel) rather than an organic solvent are much safer; although they are not widely commercialised, rapid progress has been made to do so in the last few years.

Projects include:


NATIVE - Sodium ion batteries


Faradion Limited, University of Birmingham, Croda, Jaguar Land Rover, Talga Technologies Ltd, WMG

Project costs:

Total project costs: £2,032,490 

Grant contribution: £1,506,223


Mar 2018 – Feb 2021

Funding body:

Innovate UK

Executive summary:

The aim of the NATIVE project is to develop and demonstrate a 12 V Na-ion battery for SLI (sound, lighting, and ignition) application which would serve as a replacement to the currently used Pb-acid battery in the automotive sector. The project is being led by Faradion Limited, and the University of Birmingham is a key partner on the project investigating electrolytes and test methods. Other partners include Croda, Jaguar and Land Rover, Talga Technologies Ltd, and WMG.

Solid-state batteries

One emerging field in energy storage is the concept of an ‘all-solid-state’ battery which involves replacing the highly flammable liquid electrolyte found in conventional Li-ion batteries with a stable solid alternative. This innovation comes with the potential benefits of greater safety, higher energy density and more flexibility in manufacture, design and form-factor. Presently, the research challenges are focused on developing novel materials to fulfil the requirements of the solid electrolyte and new manufacturing methods to make cell production scalable and cost-effective. This work builds upon existing research conducted by both Prof Emma Kendrick and Prof Peter Slater (School of Chemistry) and continues to be a source of collaboration as both groups are investigating the synthesis and manufacturing of ceramics and polymer composite materials for this application.