Prof. Leon L. Shaw
Rowe Family Endowed Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy
Illinois Institute of Technology/Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering
Speech title: Ultralong Cycle Life Na-ion Batteries for Grid-Scale Storage of Renewable Energy
The development of renewable energy has become a high priority for environmental sustainability and energy independence. Some renewable energies (e.g., solar and wind), however, are intermittent, and require integration with electrical energy storage (EES) systems to provide predictable and dispatchable supply of electricity. In this regard, Li-ion batteries (LIBs) have been shown to play an important role in achieving this goal as demonstrated by Tesla’s 100MW Hornsdale Power Reserve installed in Australia (the world largest LIB system). However, there is not enough Li in the world to meet the EES demand because of the limited Li reserves in the world. In this context, sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are an attractive alternative to LIBs for large scale, stationary energy storage because Na is highly abundant and low cost with similar behavior as Li electrochemically. This is particularly true for large scale, stationary energy storage where ultra-long cycle life, high round trip efficiency, low cost, and high safety are important while the high gravimetric energy densities offered by LIBs are not critical. With these applications in mind, our group has been actively developed mechanically activated, doped NaCrO2 cathodes with cycle life > 1,000 cycles. When coupled with the TiO2@NC anode with demonstrated 3,000-cycle life, we anticipate SIBs with at least 3,000 cycles and the cell cost about $100/kWh which translates to $0.033/kWh per cycle for 3,000 cycles. This per-cycle cost is lower than the cost of generating electricity from natural gas turbines ($0.04/kWh). The break-through made in this project will pave the way to enable SIBs for electrical energy storage of intermittent renewable energy sources in the future, making our world greener and more energy efficient.
Leon Shaw is the Rowe Family Endowed Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. His research interest is in novel materials synthesis and processing for Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, redox flow batteries, hydrogen storage materials and structural applications. He was named as “Illinois Researchers to Know” in 2020 by Illinois Science and Technology Coalition and received an Energy Award in 2018 presented by International Association of Advanced Materials. He has authored more than 300 publications in materials synthesis and processing for energy storage and structural applications with 11,000+ citations, h-index of 56, and i10-index of 185 (according to Google Scholar). Among these 300+ publications 214 are journal articles and invited chapters for books and encyclopedias. He is a Member of EU Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of ASM International, a Fellow of International Association of Advanced Materials, a Fellow of World Academy of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, and a Member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.