Seminar - 08072013

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Lithium Battery Technology at PNNL:
Next Generation of Energy Storage Systems

August 7, 2013
ME Auditorium

Dr. Ji-Guang (Jason) Zhang

Laboratory Fellow
Battery Technology - Energy and Environment Directorate
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Large scale deployment of electrical vehicles needs to have an energy storage system which has an energy density far exceed those of the state of the art Li-ion batteries. Li-air batteries and Li-S batteries are two of the most promising systems which have a theoretical energy density five to ten times of those of Li-ion batteries. However, there are many barriers on the practical applications of these systems. In this presentation, our recent progresses on the effect of nano-structured materials on the performance of Li-air batteries, Li-S batteries, as well as other type of Li-metal batteries will be reported. For Li-air batteries, we have developed a pouch type cell with a heat-sealable polymer membrane as both an oxygen-diffusion membrane and as a moisture barrier for Li-air batteries. An air electrode consisting of a hierarchical arrangement of functionalized graphene sheets has demonstrated a record capacity of 15,000 mAh/g in a Li-air battery. For rechargeable Li-air batteries, we found that the stability of the electrolyte solvent is the most critical factor which affects the reversibility of the batteries. On the other hand, the electrolyte salt, binder, and current collector also have significant effects for long term cyclability of Li-air batteries. For Li-S batteries, different carbon hosts were used to accommodate sulfur with an attempt to understand the migration process of polysulfides in those carbon matrixes during cycling. At last, we will demonstrate a novel mechanism which can fundamentally alter Li dendrite formation. By optimizing electrolyte solvent (both solvent and salt), dendrite free lithium films can be obtained with a Coulombic efficiency of > 98%. Further development of this approach will lead to long term safe operation of rechargeable Li metal batteries.


Dr. Ji-Guang (Jason) Zhang is a Laboratory Fellow at the Energy and Environment Directorate of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) located in Richland, Washington.  Currently, he is the group leader for PNNL’s efforts in the area of energy storage for transportation applications.  He has 23-year experience in the development of energy storage and energy efficient devices, including lithium-ion batteries, lithium-air batteries, Lithium-metal batteries, Li-S batteries, thin-film solid-state batteries, and electrochromic devices.  Prior to joining PNNL in June 2007, Dr. Zhang served for seven years as Chief Technology Officer of Excellatron Solid State LLC in Atlanta, Georgia.  In this capacity, he led a team that developed technologies for high-throughput, low-cost production of thin-film batteries and high capacity lithium-air-batteries.  From 1998 to 2000, he served as the Director of Product Development at Macro Energy-Tech, Inc. in Redondo Beach, California and engaged on the development of polymer lithium-ion batteries.  From 1990 to 1998, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow/Staff Scientist/Senior Scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he investigated electrochromic materials/windows and managed several projects on lithium-ion batteries.  Dr. Zhang holds 11 patents (with another 13 patents pending) and publishes more than 100 papers in refereed professional journals.   He was the co-recipient of two R&D 100 awards and also chaired/co-chaired two Beyond Li-ion symposiums in the last a few years.  Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Kentucky in 1990 and his B.S. degree from Dalian University of Technology in 1982.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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