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DOE Award Aims to Accelerate Advancements in Zero-Emissions Vehicles

Fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks are a leading cause of air pollution and carbon emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the biggest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. To help combat this, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working to decarbonize the transportation sector.

A research group led by Esther Takeuchi, distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering at Stony Brook has received an award of more than $2.2 million, part of a DOE initiative aimed at facilitating new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks. In addition to Stony Brook researchers, the group will also include participants from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Brown University.

Takeuchi will serve as the principal investigator. Co-investigators include Amy Marschilok, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, Kenneth Takeuchi, distinguished teaching professor in the Department of Chemistry, Carlos Colosqui, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, three scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, and a full professor from Brown University

Esther Takeuchi and Amy Marschilok hold joint appointment at SBU and Brookhaven Lab.

Titled “Fluorinated Ester Local High Concentration Electrolytes for Operation of Li-ion Batteries under ExtremeConditions,” the initiative will develop electrolytes for operation of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for operation under extreme conditions of fast charge, wide temperature range, and severe abuse.

“This project will establish a new class of electrolytes which contain fluorinated ester solvents,” said Takeuchi. “By approaching it this way we will enable improved cycling behavior under multiple extreme conditions to meet the needsof present and anticipated lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery applications.”

“Brookhaven National Laboratory is making significant contributions to initiatives related to clean energy,” said Jim Misewich, Brookhaven Lab’s associate laboratory director for the Energy and Photon Sciences Directorate. “This new program will address some of the scientific challenges related to batteries for electric vehicles. This is also an outstanding example of collaboration where Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists will be interacting closely with faculty and young investigators from Stony Brook University and Brown University. We are delighted to participate in this opportunity.”

Li-ion batteries are rechargeable and are commonly used for portable devices and electric vehicles. The batteries are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications.

Objectives of the project include characterizing transport and stability of the new electrolyte systems; evaluating electrochemical behavior under baseline and extreme conditions; and optimizing electrochemicalbehavior under extreme conditions through variation of composition.

“Partnering with industry and leading research universities, DOE’s investment in these 24 projects will create technologies that will cut vehicle greenhouse emissions and boost America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

The DOE has awarded a total of $60 million. Stony Brook joins 23 other research organizations nationwide to advance the R&D necessary to help decarbonize the transportation sector.

— Robert Emproto

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