AT ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY
CHICAGO June 24 - Advanced research on material utilization and failure mechanisms in lead batteries at Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded a graduate scholarship support by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Science (BES) office.
The work will investigate, at atomic and molecular levels, the electrochemical interfaces in the positive electrode of the lead battery. Assigned to this work is Julian Kosacki, who is completing his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Mo.
Kosacki is among 62 graduate students throughout the U.S. chosen to develop their doctoral thesis research programs across the national laboratory complex. He will join 11 other doctoral candidates assigned to Argonne across different areas of science and engineering. The work is being underwritten by the BES Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) and is the second of two awards issued under a program that started last year.
“We are very pleased to have Julian join us for this important work in achieving a better understanding of how lead batteries function and how they can be made more efficient and durable,” said Dr. Pietro Papa Lopes, one of Argonne’s staff scientists working on the Lead Battery Science Research Program (LBSRP) under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with U.S. lead battery manufacturers and suppliers. The CRADA is completing the second of a three-year program and already is yielding data about battery fundamentals previously unknown. Dr. Papa-Lopes will mentor the work to be carried out by Kosacki.
“The opportunity given to Julian through the SCGSR is unique and very important for the development and training of the next generation of scientists and engineers working on our nation’s energy and resource technologies,” Dr. Lopes added.
The key challenge facing lead batteries is how to increase their energy density by improving the efficient utilization of materials, without premature failure triggered by the various processes that are always present during battery operation Kosacki’s work will delve into these processes that occur on the positive electrode active material (PAM) in the battery.
“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to conduct part of my Ph.D. research in lead batteries at Argonne National Laboratory,” said Kosacki. “The innovative tools and expertise at Argonne will assist me in studying the fundamental science of the lead battery in order to develop new battery technologies and innovations.”
A 2017 report issued by the Department of Energy on basic research needs for the next generation of energy storage highlighted the need for increased research in lead battery technology. The SCGSR program scholarship awarded to Kosacki is then a positive support to further the research on achieving a better fundamental understanding of the lead technology, and its impact in the nation’s future energy storage systems.