The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent, national institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training and analysis. Funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the Faraday Institution is part of the coordinated activity between Innovate UK, EPSRC and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to meet the Faraday Battery Challenge.
On January 23 2018, The Faraday Institution announced up to £42million in government funding had been awarded to four UK-based consortia to conduct application-inspired research to overcome the UK’s existing battery challenges and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution. These four consortia will collaborate with industry to support their research with their individual projects focusing on:
- Recycling and reuse – Led by the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials (BCSECM) at the University of Birmingham, in partnership with the University of Leicester, University of Newcastle, Cardiff University, University of Liverpool, Oxford Brookes University, University of Edinburgh, Diamond Light Source and 13 industrial partners, the Recycling of Lithium Ion Batteries (ReLiB) project will determine the ways in which spent lithium batteries can be recycled. ReLiB aims to facilitate a circular economy in lithium ion batteries, tackling the most demanding technical and socio-economic challenges in sensing, gateway testing, sorting, re-use and recycling, to make better use of global resources and ultimately increase the impact of batteries in improving air quality and decarbonisation.
- Extending battery life – Led by the University of Cambridge with nine other university and eight industry partners, this project will examine how environmental and internal battery stresses (such as high temperatures, charging and discharging rates) damage electric vehicle (EV) batteries over time. Results will include the optimisation of battery materials and cells to extend battery life (and hence EV range), reduce battery costs, and enhance battery safety.
- Battery system modelling – Imperial College London will lead a consortium of six other university partners and 15 industry partners to equip industry and academia with new software tools to understand and predict battery performance, by connecting understanding of battery materials at the atomic level all the way up to an assembled battery pack. The goal is to create accurate models for use by the automotive industry to extend lifetime and performance, especially at low temperatures.
- Next generation solid state batteries – The University of Oxford will lead an effort with five other university partners and eight industrial partners to break down the barriers that are preventing the progression to market of solid-state batteries that should be lighter and safer, meaning cost savings and less reliance on cooling systems. The ambition of this project is to build a working model, which can be demonstrably scaled, with performance superior to Li-ion in EV applications.