Lithium-ion batteries are known to be very versatile and attractive as an energy storage system in the emerging electric mobility sector. This is mainly due to their ability to store a lot of energy in a low weight and their excellent cycling properties compared to other battery types. Unlike lead or nickel batteries, whose charging and discharging involves substantial changes in the volume and structure of the species involved, lithium-ion batteries base their operation on the intercalation and de-intercalation of lithium ions in voids located in the electrode structure, a “softer” procedure that prevents degradation of the electrodes and ensures good cycling performance.
Health status measurements
This is beneficial for battery performance, but makes condition monitoring measurements more difficult and also lengthens the determination of lifetimes in emerging applications that are emerging recently. Rapid techniques that provide reliable information on battery condition within a few days or weeks are not currently available. This is because the performance they provide is so good that, if they are expected to last around 2000 cycles, they could be attributed a capacity retention of over 99.99% for each charge/discharge cycle, so that, with the techniques currently available and the accuracy of the equipment available, it is very difficult to measure these parameters in a few cycles.
Advanced battery testing methods
A research team at IMDEA Energía’s Electrochemical Processes Unit is developing LIB battery testing methodologies beyond the usual standards, focused on providing rapid information on the state of health and performance, and thus predicting durability under different operating conditions, which is especially relevant for a better understanding of future developments of this type of batteries.
In this sense, within the framework of the European Nanobat project, a new, inexpensive and easy-to-implement methodology has been proposed to analyse the quality of the Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI) at the negative electrode of LIBs and thus predict the lifetime of the batteries.
The lifetime of lithium-ion batteries is limited by the degradation of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI), which is a passive layer that coats the negative electrode surface of most lithium-ion based batteries. After many charge and discharge cycles, it tends to decompose, consuming the lithium contained in the electrolyte and thus reducing the storage capacity.
The proposed technique consists of adding a molecule in the electrolyte that acts as a redox mediator causing an internal self-discharge process that is inversely proportional to the insulating characteristics of the SEI layer. Therefore, the presence of the redox mediator amplifies the impact of possible defects in the SEI film on the coulombic efficiency, so that they can be quickly detected even if conventional or low precision equipment is used.
The findings based on the application of this coulometric method can be used for battery ageing studies and modelling in order to develop and optimise advanced battery testing methods.
The results of this research have recently been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces,
More information: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c11992
With SFERA-III, benefit from free access to top research infrastructures in Concentrated Solar Thermal power across Europe!
The 5th SFERA-III access campaign has been launched on 1st December 2022. This call for projects provides free access to 18 installations of 8 state-of-art research infrastructures in Concentrated Solar Thermal power in 6 countries:
- CEA – ESTHER: LHASSA (Latent Heat Storage with PCM)
- CEA – DURASOL: Opti-Lab and Indoor
- DLR: Synlight (High-flux solar simulator)
- Fraunhofer ISE: WT Lab, TES-LAb, CD-Lab (Durability testing of materials for concentrated solar thermal), C-Lab Field and CD-Lab
- University of Evora: CER (Renewable Energies Chair), PECS (Solar Concentrators Testing Platform), INIESC (National Research Infrastructure in Solar Energy Concentration) and DNI-N
- IMDEA: HTPU-CDL (Computational Design Lab for High Temperature Processes), HTPU-LAB, KIRAN42 (42kWe High Flux Solar Simulator) and VHCST (Very High Concentration Solar Tower)
- ETH Zurich: HFSS (High flux solar simulator) and CHEM (Chemical Laboratory)
- METU/ODAK: GunSolSim (High flux solar simulator)
The campaign offers access to a wide spectrum of experiments such as:
- Solar thermal electricity generation
- Solar fuels production
- Cycles for chemical storage of solar energy
- Solar water treatment
- Solar heating and cooling of buildings to improve energy efficiency
- Modelling and controlling of concentrating solar technologies for power plants and for industrial processes
- High value material synthesis and/or coatings deposits
- High-flux photochemistry and photo-physics
- Characterisation of materials behaviour and properties under extreme conditions
The 5th SFERA-III campaign is open until 31 January 2023. The selected projects will benefit from 1 to 4 weeks of free access to the chosen facilities for a team of up to 2 persons. Moreover, travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs are reimbursed by the project’s budget.
Timetable and useful links
1st December 2022: Call open and submission of the project proposals – Check conditions for application
31st January 2023: Deadline for submission
Until April 2023: Selection process of the projects to be hosted at the different CSP Research Infrastructures
May 2023: Announcement of the results
June 2023 – December 2023: Hosting of the user projects
Watch the replay of our previous free webinar and download the PPT presentation to get more detailed information HERE!
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, SFERA-III cannot guarantee that all its services will be performed. In exceptional situations, consortium partners are entitled to regulate, suspend or terminate an access or activity without prior notice and without any refunds or compensation for the damage suffered by the Users. Users are therefore recommended to take out appropriate insurance. You can follow the latest information on the EU Member States restriction of free movement at https://reopen.europa.eu/en.
Institute IMDEA Energy proposes a paid research internship programme for highly motivated master’s students to get started in research and learn from a multidisciplinary team of internationally renowned researchers. The purpose of this call is to bring research closer to students so that they can decide their professional orientation and the possibility of developing a scientific career.
Application and selection process
Applications are accepted exclusively via the e-mail address indicated in the respective research line. Each candidate can only submit one application to the programme.
The application must include the following information:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Proof of enrolment in an official Master’s degree programme
- Academic transcript of the degree
- Letter of motivation
Places will be awarded on the basis of the following criteria:
- Academic record
- Knowledge of English
- Other merits
Deadline for applications: 13 January 2023.
Requirements and eligibility criteria
- To be a Master’s Degree student (Official Master’s Degree).
- Be in possession of the official Bachelor’s Degree required for each position.
- Have a residence permit in Spain for the duration of the internship.
Conditions of the grants
The maximum duration of the internship is 350 hours.
Financial aid of up to €2,000 (depending on the hours worked).
The call for applications for INPhINIT PhD scholarships from la Caixa in its two modalities (Incoming/Retaining) has been published. For the Incoming modality, IMDEA Energía has published 10 places which can be accessed from the following link:
- A high-performance Energy Management System for railway power supplies
- Artificial intelligence powered robotic synthesis and evaluation of advanced hybrid materials for solar fuel production
- Closing the loop: turning conventional fossil-derived plastic residues into bio-based plastics and chemicals by an innovative strategy
- Customised porous ceramics for solar fuels production
- Development of Solar Redox Flow Batteries
- Extremophiles as an innovative solution to replace petrochemicals
- Metal Organic Frameworks: towards microplastics valorization
- New accelerated testing methodologies and aging models of lithium-ion batteries|
- Novel bismuth-based perovskites for photovoltaics and photocatalytic applications|
- Regionalised life cycle sustainability assessment of alternative transportation fuels
Call closing date: 25 January 2023 (14:00h).
Deadline for the submission of the language certificate: 8 February 2023
Communication of the pre-selection result and call for interviews: 18 April 2023
Selection interviews: 23, 24 and 25 May 2023
Communication of the final result: 8 June 2023
Centre-scholarship holder agreement: 8 to 30 June 2023.
Call for applications:
The “la Caixa” Foundation announces 35 PhD scholarships for young researchers of all nationalities, to carry out their doctorate at Spanish centres accredited with the Severo Ochoa or María de Maeztu awards, Carlos III Health Research Institutes or Portuguese units classified as “excellent” by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Foundation for Science and Technology). This modality focuses exclusively on STEM disciplines: life and health sciences, experimental sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematics.
Endowment of the scholarship:
The financial endowment is intended to cover the fellow’s costs according to the following breakdown:
– €35,800 per year to cover the fellow’s labour costs. This amount includes the fellow’s gross annual salary, as well as the social security contributions payable by the employer (in this case, the host institution), as well as any other compulsory contributions, either current or as may be foreseen in a future legal framework.
– 3,500 € per year, as an additional amount for conferences, courses, research stays, consumables, equipment, expenses for the use of intellectual property, etc. This additional amount will be managed by the centre and must be justified separately.
– Enrolment fees for the doctoral programme to which the scholarship holder will be admitted.
The “la Caixa” Foundation will award a prize of 7,500 €, if the scholarship holder deposits the thesis within 6 months after the end of the third year of the scholarship.
Requirements for applicants:
The INPhINIT Incoming doctoral fellowship programme is open to young researchers of all nationalities.
At the time of recruitment, candidates must have completed the studies that enable them to
enrolment in an official doctoral programme in Spain/Portugal. Verification of the level of studies
equivalent to those mentioned above will be carried out by the host university at the beginning of the
admission procedure. In the event that, after verification, it is found that they do not meet the requirements, the scholarship will be withdrawn.
requirements, the scholarship will be withdrawn.
Under no circumstances may candidates have previously studied the same doctoral studies for which they are applying for the scholarship.
for which they are applying for the scholarship.
Candidates must have an advanced level of English (B2 or higher).
At the closing date for applications, candidates must be in the first four years of their research career and must not be in the first four years of their research career.
years of their research career and must not have previously obtained a doctoral degree or be in a position to apply for one.
in a position to apply for a doctoral degree.
Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain/Portugal,
studies, etc.) in Spain/Portugal for more than 12 months in the three years immediately preceding the closing date for applications.
prior to the closing date of the call. Short stays, such as holidays, will not be taken into account.
will not be taken into account
More than 120 students from Vocational Training. Secondary and Baccalaureate students took part in IMDEA Energía’s activities on the occasion of Science and Innovation Week 2022.
Over four days (15, 16, 17 and 18 November), students and teachers visited the centre’s facilities to learn more about the research work being carried out and to take part in the workshops organised by researchers and investigators.
Thus, on 15 and 16 September, a biofuels workshop was held in which the participants were able to produce their own biodiesel on a laboratory scale from vegetable oil using the transesterification process and to quantify the formation of the synthesised biofuel using an analytical technique, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
They also enjoyed an interactive board game to analyse the advantages and disadvantages and opportunities and disadvantages of the integration of electric car batteries into the electricity grid and got to know the pilot plants for pyrolysis, photosynthetic microorganisms and electrochemical devices through several guided visits.
On the 17th and 18th the pupils made their own solar cell using porous titania and some ingredients easily found in everyday life, such as dyes and fruits. In this way they were able to understand the function of each material and the basic mechanism of the cell, as well as using these concepts in the understanding of artificial photosynthesis and the importance of using porous materials to accelerate the process and its implication in the applicability of these technologies.
They also tested their knowledge of the energy crisis in a participatory quiz in which they jointly analysed why they are important tools in the current energy crisis.
Finally, they took part in a CSP workshop with various explanations and demonstrations about CSP conversion.
The debates of the Round Table “New energy models and optimization of key operations: Trends, Opportunities and Innovation” that will be held in the Technology Auditorium of the “Smart Energy Congress & Expo (SEC) 2022″ on Thursday, November 17, from 13:00 to 2:00 p.m., will be moderated by Félix Marín, Head of Development and Technology Transfer at IMDEA Energy. Representatives of companies working on hydrogen energy systems, energetically flexible buildings or the digitization of large renewable installations will participate at the table.
The IMDEA Energy Institute is a collaborating entity of the ‘Smart Energy & Expo (SEC) 2022’ to be held at the North Convention Center of IFEMA. Madrid, on November 16th and 17th, organized by the enerTIC Platform.
Free registration: https://enertic.org/congreso2022/
Stanford University has published the World’s Top 2% Scientists 2022, a global ranking of the world’s most cited scientists in various disciplines. This ranking, considered one of the most prestigious in the world, is based on bibliometric information from the Scopus database (published by Elsevier). To draw up the final lists, the records of more than 8 million active scientists worldwide are evaluated, taking into account information on the number of citations per publication (h-index) and the relevance of the researcher in the published work (hm-index).
In its latest update, the ranking includes a total of ten IMDEA Energía researchers out of more than 200,000 top scientists, representing most of the Institute’s disciplines, such as thermochemical processes, photoactivated processes, electrical systems, biotechnology, advanced materials, concentrating solar power and systems analysis.
The recognition reinforces IMDEA Energía’s international prestige and the value of the contributions of its scientific staff.
The complete list can be found here
Dr Freddy Oropeza, Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow and senior assistant researcher at the photoactivated process unit, has been awarded the highly prestigious Ramón y Cajal (RyC) fellowship by the Spanish Government. The Ramón y Cajal grants program of the Ministry of Science and Innovation promotes the incorporation of researchers with an outstanding track record in R&D centres across Spain. The RyC fellowship involves a five-year employment grant and additional funding for research expenses.
Oropeza will complete his fellowship at IMDEA Energy working on the development of advanced electrocatalysts for renewable energy conversion and diversification.
- PhD thesis defense: «Microfluidic Membraneless Vanadium Redox Flow Battery»
- IMDEA Energy joins HYLIOS project to produce green hydrogen from wastewater without electricity
- PhD thesis defense: “Optical and pointing characterization of heliostats with tracking system based on pitch and roll movements”.
- IMDEA Energy Director receives the Miguel Catalán Research Award from the Community of Madrid for his scientific career
- IMDEA Energy reviews the role of women scientists throughout history on Women and Girls in Science Day