On September 13 the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced
Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $37 million in
funding for 16 new projects as part of its new program
called Integration and Optimization of Novel
Ion-Conducting Solids (IONICS). The projects that make up the
IONICS program transform current technologies that overcome the
limitations of current battery and fuel cell products. To learn
more about IONICS, read on!
The IONICS projects will work to create high performance solid
ion conductors that allow ions to be mobile and store energy. Solid
ion conductors have shown potential as a robust high-performance
alternative to traditional liquid electrolytes and expensive fuel
cell parts that are used today. The IONICS program will focus on
new methods to process and integrate solid ion conductors into
devices that will ultimately lead to commercialization. The program
will work to improve energy storage and conversion technologies in
three categories: transportation batteries, grid-level storage, and
Battery technologies have improved in the past, but still face
imposing physical and chemical barriers that have stifled further
innovation. "Solid ion conductors made of affordable, easily
produced materials could replace today's mostly liquid
electrolytes and expensive fuel cell parts, helping create a next
generation of batteries and fuel cells that are low-cost, durable,
and more efficient," said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D.
Williams. In keeping with the U.S.'s commitment to reduce its
carbon footprint, the IONICS program and its projects will help
with this goal, enable the production of more domestic, renewable
energy, and increase the U.S.'s economic competitiveness in the
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