Probing new battery electrodes with advanced spectroscopy

Funding for research into an innovative electrode for the improvement of nickel-iron batteries

15 January 2016

Dr Moniek Tromp of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences and the research priority area Sustainable Chemistry has received KIEM funding from the Innovation Fund Chemistry. Together with the Amsterdam-based start-up E-stone Batteries Tromp will investigate the working of a new and innovative electrode for nickel-iron batteries.

For the transition to a future of solar and wind energy, cheap, safe, efficient and environmentally sound energy storage is required. Nickel-iron batteries fit most of these criteria, have been around for 100 years, but failed to acquire a share of the market due to their low efficiency and relative expensive production methods. E-stone Batteries aims at a re-invention of Edison’s old nickel-iron Battery and sets out to create a battery that spurs future clean energy supply.

Dr. M. (Moniek) Tromp

Dr Moniek Tromp.

The main problem of the traditional nickel-iron batteries lies at the negative Fe electrode, which suffers from side reactions that reduce the overall efficiency and that require expensive processing steps.

The six-months KIEM research project of Moniek Tromp aims to solve and explain the efficiency issues of the traditional NiFe battery, and characterize the innovative electrode developed by E-stone Batteries, containing high sulphur contents. The production and preparation of electrodes will be done at E-stone Batteries, with detailed operando spectroscopic characterization studies - in order to understand the working and degradation mechanisms - will be performed at the UvA.

About KIEM

KIEM is a public-private partnership financed by the Innovation Fund Chemistry, in which SMEs together with universities and HBO-institutions can tackle a practical research question. KIEM should make it easier for SMEs to approach knowledge institutions. Projects are funded for 20% by the industry and for 80% by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO.

Published by  Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry