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August 31, 2022 | Tom Ballard

ORNL receives $11.5 million to launch new center on polymer electrolytes for energy storage

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) that is focused on polymer electrolytes for next-generation energy storage devices such as fuel cells and solid-state electric vehicle batteries.

Announced recently by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the award will provide $11.5 million over four years to the new ORNL-led EFRC for Fast and Cooperative Ion Transport in Polymer-Based Electrolytes, also known as FaCT. It is part of more than $400 million that DOE awarded to either establish or continue 43 EFRCs across the nation.

“Our overall goal is to promote the design of novel polymers that enable ions, such as lithium or hydrogen, to move extremely fast,” said FaCT Director Valentino Cooper, an ORNL distinguished staff member and section head in the Materials Science and Technology Division. “Polymers have the potential to serve as electrolytes in batteries and overcome some of the challenges in safety and efficiency that hinder progress in electric vehicles and other clean energy technologies.”

According to the ORNL news release, FaCT collaborators include The Pennsylvania State University; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Texas A&M University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Georgia State University.

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