The Global Experience of Using Batteries and Prospects for the Development of Technology
Today in Russia, special attention is paid to technical solutions that can increase the energy efficiency of rail transportation through the use of alternative energy sources and the introduction of the latest technologies. Khalil Amine, the Global Energy Prize laureate, Argonne Distinguished Fellow and the Manager of the Advanced Lithium Battery Technology Group at Argonne National Laboratory presented his ideas on the use of batteries in the railway industry and their widespread introduction at the session ‘Using Energy Storage and Distributed Generation at Russian Railways: Problems and Opportunities’, which was held as a part of the Russian Energy Week International Forum.
Modern economic realities and environmental conditions require the introduction of new technological solutions from all sectors of the industry. Avoiding the carbon footprint within the transportation of passengers in the long term until the year 2050 is an ambitious goal set by Russian Railways.
The constant increase in traffic volume, which necessitates an increase in railway and contact network capacities, dictates the need for the introduction of technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere while maintaining an economically sound rail network load. Today, such technologies are lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen power plants using fuel cells.
According to Khalil Amine, the Global Energy Prize laureate, Argonne Distinguished Fellow and the Manager of the Advanced Lithium Battery Technology Group at Argonne National Laboratory energy-intensive lithium-ion batteries can be successfully implemented at Russian enterprises of industrial railway transport. The expert noted that the current trend of the electrification of transport contributes to the widespread introduction of batteries. They are used in electric vehicles, trains, small airplanes and space satellites. However, number of factors are holding back their full use in production. «The high cost is the barrier for the widespread implementation of batteries in mass production. In order to reduce the cost, it is necessary to increase the energy capacity of the battery. But safety must be a priority. Lithium is a very unstable material, but if it is stabilized correctly, high battery capacity results can be achieved. Extensive researches are already underway and, possibly, in the nearest future a new generation of batteries will appear in the world,» Khalil Amine concluded.
Dr. Khalil Amine became the Global Energy Prize laureate in 2019. He won in the nomination of ‘New Ways of Energy Application’. The Global Energy Prize is awarded to him for ‘outstanding contribution into the development of the efficient electrical energy storage technology’. The scientist is a world champion in publications about accumulator batteries. His research is associated to the inventions of new cathodes and anodes for lithium-ion batteries, used in the development of new liquid-polymer electrolyte systems, lithium-oxygen, lithium-sulfur, sodium-ion batteries. The battery cells developed by Dr. Amine are used in many corporations such as BASF, Envia, LG Chemical, Microvast, Samsung Chemical, TODA, and Umicore.