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CSIRO, Piotrek team for lithium battery tech

16th September 2019 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and Japanese specialist chemical manufacturer, Piotrek, are collaborating to commercialise Australian-developed battery technologies for markets including defence.

The work will enable the next generation of lithium battery technologies for portable electronic devices, drones and automotive vehicles, as well as address a critical safety need with lithium batteries by helping prevent battery fires.

The two organisations have partnered to develop the next generation of Solid Polymer Electrolytes (SPEs) for lithium batteries using CSIRO's proprietary Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) polymer technology and Piotrek's Ion Conducting Polymers. The work aims to fast-track the development of an SPE for use in high energy (4.5-5V) lithium batteries for electric vehicles and drones.

Solid state batteries are a class of lithium batteries that typically use a lithium metal anode, the highest specific energy of all battery anodes, enabling next generation batteries with twice as much energy than today’s lithium battery technologies. Additionally, there is no volatile or flammable liquids inside a solid state battery that can catch fire at low temperatures if the cell is damaged.

CSIRO battery research leader, Adam Best, said: ‘Our RAFT technology allows us to tune our SPEs’ properties to expand their versatility for different types of batteries and fuel cells, and will also significantly reduce the cost of device assembly and manufacture.’

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