Research project develops critical minerals for lithium-ion batteries

Advanced battery technologies are urgently needed to ensure Queensland and Australia's competitiveness in the growing electric vehicle (EV) and stationary energy storage markets.  

The use of Australian critical minerals such as nickel, cobalt, and aluminium in the development of next-generation Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIBs) can bring many positive benefits, including improved energy densities, longer lifespans, and lower costs. 

Dr Jiayong Tang from the University of Queensland, is an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship recipient and is working to develop critical minerals for high-energy-density and low-cost lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicle and stationary energy storage markets. 

The Fellowship supports researchers to carry out studies that will benefit and make a positive difference to Queensland. Dr Tang received $240,000 in funding research over three years, which will provide support for the battery industry in Queensland with advanced manufacturing and stable supply.  

What is your research about?  

My research project aims to develop high-performance cathode materials for next-generation LIBs with significantly enhanced energy densities, reduced cost and prolonged lifespan, and will assist with advancing the understanding of the electrochemical mechanism. 

Why did you choose to research this? 

Australia has the mineral resources to lead the world in battery production. It has potential to capitalize on the value add from moving further along the battery value chain. It is important for Australia to take on a greater role in battery value chain and contribute to the security and sustainability of this critical global industry. Cathode materials, in particular lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese account for more than 30% of the total cost of an Electric Vehicle battery production. Cathode materials still fail to meet the market expectations for EV applications, especially in relation to range and cost. 

Who are you partnering with and why? 

My industry partner, Pure Battery Technologies (PBT), is a Queensland-based technical company focused on the low-cost processes for producing critical battery materials and the commercialization of advanced cathode materials for LIBs. PBT will be an important collaborator in this project, and will bring their patented technologies on the cost-effective processing of primary mined materials and extensive experience in pilot-scale cathode material production. 

How will the funding from Advance Queensland support you on your research journey? 

The funding from Advance Queensland will help to develop robust Ni-rich NMC cathode materials for high energy-density and low-cost LIBs. The support from Advance Queensland, will provide the opportunity to blend PBT’s patented technology and UQ’s strong expertise in materials research to advance the battery industry. 

What are you wanting to achieve in your research? 

My research aims to develop cutting-edge cathode materials for next-generation LIBs with high energy density, low cost and long lifespan, and will assist to gain a deeper understanding of battery fading mechanisms and the structure-property relationships. The success of my research will have significant outcomes in the design of cutting-edge Ni-rich NMC cathode materials. 

How will your research benefit and assist Queenslanders? 

My research will help deliver cheaper, cleaner energy storage devices for homes and businesses. The high-energy density rechargeable batteries developed in this project, will allow Queenslanders to have cheap and clean energy, to drive down power bills and ease the cost of living. The developed battery technology will also stimulate EVs uptake to eliminate transport emissions and reduce petroleum reliance, thus enabling more sustainable communities in Queensland. 

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the 2022 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships program?  

This fellowship gave me the opportunity to put my professional interest in battery materials and LIBs design into practice. The program will allow me to spend more time to focus on my academic research and industrial colorations during my early academic development. 

Last updated 09 May, 2023
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