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Posted May 6 , 2013

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Innovation

Waterloo research into new battery technology receives government support

WATERLOO – A nanotechnology research project to explore new battery chemistries that could lead to high-density energy storage received funding today from Natural Resources Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative.

The research, led by Professor Linda Nazar of the Faculty of Science and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo, will examine completely new approaches to materials and chemical components of batteries that could result in more powerful, and longer-lasting batteries for hybrid electric or electric cars.

“The funding from Natural Resources Canada allows us to expand our electrochemical energy storage laboratory here at Waterloo to explore beyond lithium-ion batteries using nanotechnology and completely different approaches to battery chemistry,” said Professor Nazar, a Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials. “This research is high-risk, but it has the potential to create batteries with much greater storage capacity and at lower costs."

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) announced today that it is awarding $1.8 million over four years to Professor Nazar for her work titled High Energy Density Storage for Automotive Applications. Partnerships on the project include Hydro-Québec, the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning, and BASF (SE).

“Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our Government is investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation.”

“One of the greatest challenges to the sustainable energy field is adequate electrochemical energy storage. Although there are improvements that can be made using existing battery chemistry to make an electric car last longer before needing a recharge, we expect that improvements to the amount of storage in current rechargeable batteries will reach their limit within the next five years,” said Professor Nazar. “This research could have a significant effect on the long-term future of electric cars.”
Established in 2011, the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) by NRCan provides funding for a comprehensive suite of research and development and demonstration projects. The program’s objective is to support energy technology innovation to produce and use energy in a cleaner and more efficient way.

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