Energy Storage beyond Lithium
The integration of fluctuating renewable energy sources into the future energy economy and the establishment of electromobility requires new materials and technology concepts for powerful and sustainable electrical energy storage.
Within the POLiS (Post Lithium Storage) Cluster of Excellence, scientists from Karlsruhe and Ulm are researching future batteries, which should be powerful, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. The overall objective of our Cluster is to build a fundamental understanding of a new generation of electrochemical energy storage systems and develop a platform for future stationary and mobile applications.
In order to overcome current limitations of lithium-ion battery technology, including uncertainties regarding sustainable materials supply, researchers have identified alternatives that no longer rely on Lithium. Specifically, POLiS is targeting sustainable systems based on, e.g., sodium-, magnesium-, or aluminium-ions. Such systems are called “post-Li” batteries and have the potential to store more energy, be safer, and provide a less costly, long-term option for mass applications such as stationary and mobile electrochemical storage.
With this concept, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ulm University, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the University of Gießen have asserted themselves in the highly competitive Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the State Governments - as the only German Cluster of Excellence for battery research.
The grand challenges in the field are addressed in four Research Units, dedicated to the four key topics “Electrode Materials”, “Electrolytes”, “Interfaces”, and “Integration & Sustainable Cell Engineering”. The Research Units are organized in 14 Work Packages that comprise interdisciplinary projects.
POLiS is embedded in the research platform CELEST (Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe). CELEST was founded in 2018 by the partners KIT, Ulm University and ZSW for strategic cooperation and is one of the largest battery research activities in the world.