Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 28.12.2022.| 11:42
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Scientists from Serbia Developing Batteries Whose Production Will Not Require Lithium

(Photo: Željko Lončar)
The research team gathered around the HiSuperBat project, which is financed within the PROMIS program of the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia meant for supporting young researchers, is developing multivalent ion batteries which will be able to replace the use of lithium-ion batteries, which will contribute to a cheaper and ecologically more sustainable production of batteries which could have a wide application in the economy.

So far, lithium-ion batteries have been the best solution for storing large quantities of renewable energy. We can find them everywhere: from mobile phones, through laptops, to electric cars. Still, the production of lithium-ion batteries carries certain challenges with it, from limited lithium resources, to an expensive and less safe production process which can have a considerable negative impact on the environment.

For that reason, the researchers of the HiSperBat project, led by Dr Milica Vujkovic of the Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, are developing safer and more available alternatives. This pertains to the development of batteries based on multivalent ions, such as calcium, magnesium and aluminum ions.

Multivalent ion batteries enable a cheaper, simpler and safer production, while also reducing the price of the batteries, because these are elements which are much more available in nature and whose production is safer.

Using an innovative approach, the HiSuperBat project will develop new and cost-effective electrode materials of high capacity, for their implementation in calcium, magnesium, or aluminum-ion batteries. In that sense, the key issues related to the low ability to store energy will be solved. Also, the researchers will develop a hybrid model of coin-shaped batteries which do not contain either lithium or a flammable toxic electrolyte.

The results of this project financed within the PROMIS program of the Science Fund will enable the development of a new generation of energy storing devices, that is, batteries. This is not just a significant scientific result, but also a scientific solution which is directly applicable in various industries and which will secure more sustainable production, reduce environmental pollution and enable cheaper and safer batteries for us all.

– The PROMIS program is the first program of the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia that provides an opportunity to young researchers to realize their ideas through big science research projects. The Republic of Serbia has secured EUR 9 million for the realization of 59 extraordinary projects. All the projects have gone through a very competitive selection process that, through two phases, was carried out by foreign, internationally recognized experts with over 10 years of experience in scientific research.

It is precisely that competitiveness that helped our young researchers to raise the quality of their research and to then strengthen their scientific research capacities through international cooperation. We are proud of the fact that young researchers have gained project management skills, that they have created their teams and that they have worked on important ideas that have motivated them.

The HiSuperBat project, as well as the other 58 projects, have realized important scientific results. A large number of scientific publications have been released, with a considerable number of them published in the most prestigious international science magazine. Our mission and our task is to secure quality conditions for adequate science research activities and to strengthen, through our programs, the capacities of science research organizations and scientists that will, through their science research, push the boundaries of knowledge and enable the development of scientific and technological solutions, which will contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in various aspects.

The extent of our success and the fact that Serbia truly has excellent young researchers, among other things, is shown by the fact that one of the research teams from the PROMIS program recently won the ERC starting grant worth EUR 1.5 million, which the European Research Council awards to the best European projects and researchers – Dr Milica Djuric Jovicic, the acting director of the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, points out for eKapija.

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