Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

RMIT Scientists Working to Supercharge Next-Gen Lithium Batteries

Image Credits: RMIT, Press Release

Melbourne scientists are using supercomputers to speed up the search for a key ingredient in the next generation of lithium-metal batteries, which could potentially increase storage capacity by 10-fold compared with current technology. The team led by RMIT University, in collaboration with CSIRO, say the work could benefit the development of batteries that allow electric vehicles to drive further and phones to last longer with a single charge.

The Senior lead researcher Professor Michelle Spencer from RMIT noted that the team used supercomputers to develop an ultra-fast way to screen hundreds of potential molecules that could make suitable electrolytes for lithium-metal batteries.

The work has the potential to benefit anyone wanting to use electronic devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, or electrified transportation like electric cars and future electric planes for commercial air travel, according to a Professor of Chemistry and the Deputy Director of the STEM Centre for Digital Innovation.

The work is only a small component of the large body of work being done in the rechargeable battery space, and electric flight for large-scale domestic and international travel is still a long way off, she added.

While there are ongoing and rapid advancements, this type of battery still faces several challenges related to the stability of the electrolyte. Developing electrolytes and the nature of their individual components is critical to the ultimate success of this exciting battery technology.

It was noted that organic-based electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries are not compatible with batteries using lithium-metal as the anode, as they tend to decompose when exposed to the metal.

The research, which also involved RMIT PhD scholar Dale Osborne and CSIRO scientists Dr Michael Breedon and Dr Thomas Rüther, is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

The team can identify specific features or molecules that might perform better and recommend them to experimental groups to test in the lab. And they are able to calculate how modifying the chemical structure of the electrolyte molecules in a battery can ultimately increase the effective capacity of lithium-based batteries.

Key information can be provided to enable the reduction of research time and costs, beneficial for progressing battery technologies in shorter timeframes.

The computational approach that has been developed dramatically speeds up the screening process, which would traditionally be prohibitively expensive and time consuming if each candidate molecule were to be experimentally synthesised and tested in the lab.

Looking ahead

The team is investigating further modifications of the electrolyte molecules that might widen their electrochemical stability, pushing the boundaries of battery storage capacity. They are also looking into modifications to lithium-air battery chemistry, which are still in the developmental phase, but could be even lighter and suitable for cutting-edge applications such as electric flight.

The researchers use supercomputing facilities at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) Facility in Canberra and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Western Australia.

RMIT’s RACE Hub is also being used to analyse the data and produce high-resolution animations that aid in the interpretation of the data and communicate research findings.

RMIT is collaborating with two tech giants to be the first Australian university to implement a dedicated commercial cloud supercomputing facility. Known as RACE Hub, it is enabling true scalable and elastic high-powered computing to support digital innovation.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com