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Ambient-Pressure Regeneration Of Degraded Lithium-Ion Battery Cathodes Via Eutectic Solutions

Lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the dominant power sources for portable electronics and electric vehicles, both of which have rapidly growing markets. Recycling and re‐use of end‐of‐life LIBs, to reclaim lithium and transition metal resources and eliminate pollution from disposal of waste batteries, have become urgent tasks. Great effort has been made to recycle LIB cathode materials. State‐of‐the‐art approaches include pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and direct recycling. The pyrometallurgical approach requires high temperature smelting as well as multi-step purification and separation processes; the hydrometallurgical approach requires acid leaching and subsequent complicated precipitation steps to produce precursors for the re-synthesis of new cathode materials. Both approaches have to totally destroy the LIB cathode particles which represent a significant amount of value from their primary manufacturing process. The direct recycling approach combines physical separation to harvest the cathode materials with high-pressure relithiation to regenerate cathode materials, where the high pressure process greatly increases the cost of regeneration.

A Family Of Hybrid Boosting Voltage Converters

Many industries, such as solar cells and energy storage, will be greatly benefited by high-gain step-up/step-down converters.UCI researchers have developed a family of hybrid boosting converters (HBC) that combine a base bipolar voltage multiplier (BVM) and one of several possible inductive switching cores to address various converter functionalities.

A Family Of Two-Switch Boosting Switched-Capacitor Converters (TBSC)

Switched capacitor converters, which provide high-gain voltage conversion, have drawbacks that have limited their use to specific applications. UCI researchers have developed a family of two-switch boosting switched-capacitor converters (TBSC) that enables the use of switched-capacitor converters in low cost and small-size applications as well as on-chip integration.

Multi-Point, Multi-Access Energy Storage

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel multi-point, multi-access thermal energy storage system.

Composite Membranes For Energy Storage Devices

Dendritic growth inside a high capacity electrochemical system can initiate self-discharge and a very dangerous set of reactions that result in cell temperatures reaching >500 °C within seconds of internal shorting. Thus, cell components are often designed with shut-off features that engage after shorting occurs and cell temperature begins to rise, but before a threshold temperature is reached (e.g. runaway temperature). For example, some separator membranes can be designed to collapse in response to high temperatures, blocking ion-flow and effectively shutting off the cell. However, this process is irreversible and will not prevent thermal runaway if a critical temperature is reached before proper shutoff can occur. Additionally, such membrane will have little effect if the short circuit occurs from separator penetration by a metallic dendrite. Reversible thermo-responsive membranes have been developed, but share similar drawbacks during internal shorting and rapid self-discharge.

Composite Electrodes For Electrochemical Energy Storage

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Physics & Astronomy have designed supercapacitors with enhanced energy density and power density properties.

Thermodynamic Integration Simulation Method for Filling Molecular Enclosures Using Spliced Soft-Core Interaction Potential

Researchers have developed a simulation method to determine the properties of molecular enclosures based on slow growth thermodynamic integration (SGTI).

Cephalopod-Inspired Adaptive Infrared Camouflage Materials and Systems

This technology is a new class of materials capable of thermal regulation and active camouflage. These cephalopod-inspired materials, configurable to different geometries, can be used in many sectors, ranging from consumer to industrial to military applications.

Ceramic And Metallic Cellular Structures Wtih Interconnected Microchannels

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed cellular porous metallic and ceramic structures that can be used to increase the production and recovery of tritium for fusion power reactors or as a support for electrode materials.

Symmetric Redox Flow Batteries for Economically-Viable Grid-Scale Energy Storage

A 5-redox state nitride-capped organometallic motif that can completely replace current redox flow batteries.

A Method Of Making Carbon Coated Oxides As High-Performance Anode Materials

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a carbon-coated silicon nanoparticle-based electrode material for lithium-ion batteries with high energy density and long lifetime.  They have also developed a scalable fabrication method for this material.

Decentralized Charging Protocol for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Plug-in vehicles (PEVs) have drawn interest from government, automakers, and the public due to potential for reduced environmental impact. UCI researchers have developed a decentralized charging protocol for PEVs that results in improved stability in power grid demand.

Battery Energy Storage Control System

UCLA researchers have developed a battery energy storage system capable of both shifting power consumption pattern and shaping power consumption profile with minimal delay.

Ion-Gated Thermal/Electrical/Optoelectronic Modulator/Transistors/Switches

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel device for modulating thermal and electrical properties of materials by manipulating ionic motions.

Fuel Cell With Dynamic Response Capability Based On Energy Storage Electrodes

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering have developed fuel cells with energy-storage capabilities.

New Non-Platinum Fuel Cell Catalyst

The Kisailus research group at the University of California, Riverside, has  developed a novel fuel cell catalyst made of porous carbon nanofibers doped with inexpensive metal or metal oxide nanoparticles that provide active sites for energy conversion and storage. The active or catalytic nanoparticles are embedded and integrated with graphitic nanofibers and are accessible to the surrounding environment due to high porosity. The extensive graphitic networks within these nanofibers also exhibits enhanced conductivity. Cobalt oxide- graphite composite nanofibers showed equivalent catalytic activity to fuel cell platinum catalysts like platinum on carbon (Pt/C). When operated under fuel cell conditions, the nanofiber formulation provides enhanced durability.  Fig. 1 Metal oxide-graphite composite and porous nanofibers with highly controllable diameter, particle size and performance. Fig. 2 Linear sweep voltametry curves shows that the graphitic nanofibers doped with metal ions have higher current densities than commercial platinum on carbon (Pt/C).  

Process to Synthesize Size Controlled Nanocrystalline Materials for Battery Electrodes

Researchers at UCR have developed a scalable and affordable process for synthesizing nanostructure materials like LiFePO4 (LFP) at low temperatures (150 to 200 oC) with highly reproducible sizes and morphologies. The nanocrystalline structures may be utilized as active elements in battery cathodes or anodes to enhance charging cycle stability or enhance capacitance (including when doped with conductive metals). The process is performed at relatively low temperatures, and uses environmentally friendly solvents.  This results in lower up front and ongoing manufacturing costs in cathode and anode production.  The particle size and shape, as well as crystal orientation of the produced structures can be controlled, not only preventing loss of performance and capacity due to increased stresses and charge de-stabilization, but also improving rate capability.  The nanostructures created with this method will result in increased battery power and energy density. Fig. 1: Reproducible nanoprism crystal morphologies produced via the method described here.   Fig. 2: Reproducible nanobelt crystal morphologies produced via the method described here.

High Performance Transition-Metal Doped PtNi Catalysts

Researchers led by Yu Huang from the Department of Material Science and Engineering at UCLA have developed a novel oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst by doping platinum-nickel octahedrals with transition metals.

Supercapacitor With Non-Planar Electrodes

UCLA researchers have developed a solid-state supercapacitor structure with non-planar electrodes and ionogels dielectric medium.

3D Magnetic Topological Structures for Information Storage

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new way to directly create 3-dimensional topological magnetic structures that allows for efficient information storage with potentially low energy dissipation.

Clock Power Reduction Utilizing Adiabatic Charging Method Via a Switched-Capacitor Circuit

Normally, charging a capacitive load from a voltage source invokes a ½ CV2 energy penalty. The concept of adiabatic charging, where the capacitor is charged more slowly than nominally afforded by the natural RC time constant of the charging circuit in the pursuit of reducing energy dissipation to below ½ CV2, has been around for decades. However, there has not been any solution to enabling this slow charging phenomenon in a practical, low-overhead embodiment. For example, prior work used separate DC-DC converters to provide multiple voltage levels, or used resonant inductors, both of which invoke significant area overhead.

Process For Electrodepositing Manganeese Oxide With Improved Rate Capabilities For Electrical Energy Storage

The invention is a novel method for enhancing the energy, power and performance of lithium ion batteries. It applies a new process for electrodepositing Manganese Oxide in a way that improves the electrical properties as well as the rate at which the battery can operate. Using this method, the energy storage capabilities is boosted significantly; making it faster, more reliable and enabling various applications to become more dependent on electric/battery solutions.

Energy Harvester From Breath-Associated Belly Movement

Researchers at UCI have developed a device that harvests enough energy from the human body to continuously power cells phones and other on-body devices.

Hyperelastic Binder For Printed, Stretchable Electronics

Stretchable electronics are a new, emerging class of electronic devices that can conform to complex non-planar and deformable surfaces such as human organs, textiles, and robotics. Functional fillers incorporated with elastic polymers form composites for use in intrinsically stretchable electronics. These composites can be amenable to high-throughput, low-cost, additive printing technologies that include screen, inkjet, flexography, and 3D printing. However, the properties of the functional and elastic materials used to date have been mutually antagonistic, thus limiting achievement of state-of-the-art functional properties and high elasticity. The present invention relates to the development of random composite inks using triblock copolymer for stretchable electronics. The key novelty offered here is the ability to tolerate higher loadings of inelastic, functional materials without sacrificing the elastic properties of the ink.

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