Jung-Hyun Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received with partners Nexceris and Navitas a nearly $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop cathode materials for the next generation of electric vehicle batteries.
The project, “Cobalt-free LNMTO spinel cathode materials,” is one of 42 research projects sponsored through the Department of Energy program aiming to shore up U.S. energy security by supporting the development and commercialization of affordable, energy-efficient transportation technologies.
Increased energy efficiency plays no small part in the stability and growth of an economy driven by transportation. The average U.S. household spent about one-sixth of its total expenditures on transportation in 2017, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. That year, 11 billion tons of freight were transported by vehicles, with about $35 billion in products shipping each day, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Demand for battery materials is also expected to increase as interest in electrical vehicles grows within the transportation industry.
Kim, who was recruited to The Ohio State University through the Institute for Materials Research-led Materials & Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme, will focus on developing materials to supplant prohibitively high-cost materials, such as Cobalt, used in electric-vehicle batteries. Cobalt is vital to the performance of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, but recent increases in demand and price have resulted in shortages and concern about its outlook.
“Our work over the next three years will pave the way to a new generation cathode of Li-ion batteries,” Kim said. “Our goal is to develop low-cost cathode materials with high energy and power and demonstrate it using prototype battery cells with 2 Ah capacity, which can significantly impact Li-ion battery markets, mainly for electric vehicle (EV) applications.”
The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) welcomed some of the newest faculty members to join The Ohio State University community through the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) focus area of the Discovery Themes Initiative.
New faculty members briefly presented their research goals on Sept. 20 at this year’s annual M&MS Faculty Fall Social, held at IMR’s Innovation Lab at Nanotech West Laboratory on Kinnear Road. The event also gave faculty a chance to socialize and share research interests in a less formal setting.
“Every time we meet and greet the new faculty, I hear about all the great research people are trying to do. I see all these amazing connections that can be made,” said Professor Steven Ringel, who serves as Associate Vice President for Research and IMR Executive Director. “It is extremely important that we have these kind of activities, in which faculty can be faculty, in a relaxed setting, where they can have the conversations that build our collaborative culture.”
Six new hires join 17 faculty members and researchers already working within the M&MS cohort at Ohio State. The M&MS Discovery Theme is a university-wide program operated by IMR that advances and accelerates innovation and materials research in technologies, science and manufacturing, as they apply to future energy systems and sustainability.
Some members of the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland recently explored the science behind sustainable energy with engineering staff and students at The Ohio State University.
Girl Scouts attending “Scoping Out Solar Energy” at Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research (IMR) Nanotech West Lab and Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) took part in discussions and hands-on science and technology activities with College of Engineering volunteers.
Throughout the day, the nearly 20 Girl Scouts learned about energy use, conversion and storage, as well as energy consumption of electric vehicles. The topics complemented concepts learned in school and introduced them to new ideas regarding renewable energy and electron microscopy.
Through each activity, the elementary school-aged girls also had an opportunity to consider their potential roles as science and engineering leaders in the future.
The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) cast a wide net to land the diverse collection of students and faculty taking aim during the most recent INNOVATE-O-thon at improving energy efficiency at the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.
Faculty members hired through different focus areas of the Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative joined nearly 50 students from across colleges to try their hands in helping shape the future of energy consumption at the land-grant university.
The students’ challenge: Develop a strategy to inspire nearly 60,000 students at the 485-building campus to alter their day-to-day, energy-use habits and, ultimately, push the Columbus campus toward its lofty goal to improve energy efficiency by at least 25 percent over 10 years.
“INNOVATE-O-thon, I’ve done it twice in the past, and it’s always kind of fun to interact with people from different backgrounds,” said Muhammad Shao, a major in mechanical engineering. “It’s good to hear different perspectives. I’ve realized, from the past, that design majors are just as important as engineering majors.”
The students’ strategies were pitched to a panel of representatives from ENGIE, which makes up half of a joint venture with Axium Infrastructure called Ohio State Energy Partners, responsible for the operation and maintenance of the central utility systems that heat, cool and power the Columbus campus.
2017 OSU Materials Week – the annual showcase of materials-allied research at The Ohio State University and beyond – will be held May 9-12, 2017 at the Blackwell Inn and Conference Center on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.
Our 9th annual conference features a keynote address, student poster sessions, and technical and cross cutting sessions focusing on the latest advances in the full spectrum of materials innovation:
- Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability
- Materials Innovation
- Materials and Nanostructures for Magnetic Skyrmions
- Integrated Design of Materials
- Nanoengineered Materials for Medical Applications
- Innovations in Advanced Microscopy
- Wide Bandgap Semiconductors
IMR Keynote Address by
Ayodhya N. Tiwari
Solar Electricity: Advancements and Opportunities with Innovative Emerging Technologies
Tuesday, May 9 at 2:00 PM
For more information on 2017 OSU Materials Week, including registration, agenda and program guide, visit: go.osu.edu/2017OSUMaterialsWeek