Towards innovative and affordable sodium- and zinc-based electrochemical energy storage systems composed of more sustainable and locally-sourced materials

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Electrochemical energy storage (EES) is crucial in the carbon-neutral future. Nevertheless, the current battery value chain has significant risks, especially concerning the supply of critical raw materials. eNargiZinc aims at developing new knowledge, technology and commercially exploitable products related to innovative and affordable next-generation EES devices, targeting long-term sustainability through the use of abundant and renewable materials and low environmental-impact production processes. A rigorous training-through-research programme for eleven Doctoral Candidates (DCs)—eight DCs funded by the EU and three DCs funded by the UK national funding agency (UKRI)—has been designed through an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach, involving studies on all the essential parts needed to develop sodium-ion batteries, zinc-air batteries, and zinc-ion batteries/supercapacitors. The research within eNargiZinc will focus on developing sustainable electrode materials (biomass-derived carbons and their composites, redox-active polymers, hybrid transition metal oxides, and interphases for anode-less concepts), electrolytes (solid-state and gel-polymer types), and, especially, on integrating all the developed components into full cells at an industrially-relevant scale. A Personalised Training Package for each DC will be tailored to allow them to acquire the required skills over the three years of employment within the network. To this aim, secondments to other partners (especially in the non-academic sector), training in complementary skills, and network-wide training events will be implemented. The consortium, which is composed of six beneficiaries and twelve associated partners, is addressed to achieve the objectives of eNargiZinc and is based on excellence, synergy and complementarity. Industrial partners will play a key role in the network, by providing the DCs with exposure to the private sector and access to industrially-relevant facilities, which are essential to validate the findings obtained at lab-scale.

Horizonte Europa