14 members of the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) are partnering with Electric Applications to address lead battery technology. The new agreement was signed with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. The research will be a collaborative effort between Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS), and the laboratory’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering and Materials Science divisions. The Chemical Sciences and Engineering division will be examining changes in the battery during its operation. The Electrochemistry Discovery Laboratory in Argonne’s Materials Science division will explore the behavior of materials at the atomic scale to reveal the structure-function relationships responsible for lead battery operation.
“This is a beautiful example of how synergy between industry and science can drive innovation,” said Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS). “These leading companies of the lead battery industry want to do pre-competitive R&D using some of the most advanced tools, techniques and capabilities at Argonne to help improve the longevity of lead batteries. Every company faces this problem. Once you understand the complex chemical interactions inside these batteries, you can start to propose solutions to further extend their life.”
The nine full members of the program include Crown Battery Manufacturing Company, Doe Run Resources Corporation, East Penn Manufacturing Company, EnerSys, Exide Technologies, Johnson Controls, NorthStar Battery Company, RSR Technologies and Trojan Battery Company. The five associate members are Superior Graphite, Microporous LLC, Cabot Corporation, Borregard Lignotech and Advanced Battery Concepts.
“There is a need, and the resources are available at Argonne and industry is willing to invest in advanced technology,” said Don Karner, president of Electric Applications Incorporated of Phoenix and the program coordinator for the companies. “Bringing all three of those elements together, we’re hoping to gain significant knowledge that will help the members significantly improve the performance of their battery products. The science program will focus Argonne’s resources and expertise on improving the performance of lead batteries to assist the industry in meeting market demands for existing applications and for new applications.”