By Cameron Chai
Funds have been granted from the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative, which encourages research and development in automobile industry, to researchers of the Dalhousie University for designing high-efficiency batteries and creating techniques for titanium to be more economical.
Dr. Jeff Dahn from the Dalhousie University was granted $4.1 million for improving lithium-ion batteries performance. The research is focused on producing rechargeable, long life lithium-ion batteries, which can save about twice the energy of conventional batteries.
Dr. Stephen Corbin, an engineering Professor at Dalhousie University was granted $2.2 million to produce inexpensive titanium, which can be used in vehicles. The weight of a vehicle can be decreased by 50% when titanium replaces steel. Hence, the expenses for producing vehicles can decrease.
When lithium-ion batteries are used in cars, they must encounter severe requirements such as sustaining 3,000 charge/discharge cycles, withstanding temperature extremities and having a longer life up to 10 years. Medical devices and grid energy applications too require the same conditions. Faster detection of the operational ranges and cell chemistries are the main aim of Dahn's project. This detection helps provide long life and optimal battery cycle. Using the funds, three advanced laboratories will be developed for the further research of the project.
Titanium is 45% less in weight when compared to other steel, however, stronger like other metals. Hence when used in vehicles, fuel consumption and vehicle weight will be reduced. It is useful to produce engine valves, exhaust systems and other parts of vehicles, thus increasing the vehicle life.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will support both the projects.