As part of his work on supercapacitators, Christophe Lethien (from the IEMN lab, a member of RS2E) was interviewed by the RTBF (Belgian TV). The interview follows a publication in Science, with Patrice Simon's group (from the CIRIMAT lab). Supercapacitators are an energy storage device complementary to batteries, e.g. in the case of electric vehicles. The video is available here.
With three awards during his 3-years PhD, Matteo Bianchini embodies a new generation of excellence in the field of energy storage. A few days before his PhD defense (23rd October), he has received the Student of the Year Award from the Electrochemical Society!
The award distinguishes his work at the Laue Langevin Institute in Grenoble (E. Suard) in collaboration with ICMCB* in Bordeaux (L. Croguennec) and LRCS* in Amiens (C. Masquelier and JB Leriche). His researches include the study of the structural mechanisms of insertion/extraction of Li+ in battery materials, using neutron diffraction: a world premiere. He has also been awarded in 2014 the Silver Medal of the Materials Research Society and the "PANalytical Award 2014".
* ICMCB and LRCS are founding laboratories and heavily involved in RS2E since its inception. Matteo's work is a perfect example of the collaborations happening within network.
The lab of Jean-Marie Tarascon, director of RS2E, is part of a brand new 6000m2 space at Collège de France (Paris). This scientific center will be inaugurated today by the President of France.
After a complete renovation of the premises, six chairs are currently present in the new chemistry and physics labs as well as an incubator for young teams. This project shows the ambition of Collège de France in terms of interdisciplinary research in these fields. There are great chances of breakthroughs given the hosted teams world-class level and the place's attractiveness.
The labs also benefit from the pacified research philosophy at Collège de France, “ a free basic research, without short term application imperatives”, underlines Serge Haroche, the institution's administrator and professor at the quantum physics chair.
During his visit in Jean-Marie Tarascon's lab, the President will meet the entire team. He will also attend to coin cell making, a widely used format in fundamental and applied research.
It looks like a bus, yet the prototype is meant to be an alternative to conventional trams: neither heavy roadwork nor rails (it rolls on tires) or catenaries are needed. Without a continuous supply of electricity, it was necessary to choose an embedded energy storage solution!
Supercapacitors have been selected for their recharge speed, their lifespan (hundreds of thousands of charge/discharge cycle against a few thousand for a battery). The capacitors will be charged during the tram stops at each stations in a few dozen seconds. A range of one kilometer is announced for a cost five to ten times lower than that of a conventional tram.
This announcement shows that supercapacitors are not meant to be only auxiliary solutions but can also ensure the full operation of an electric vehicle. Buses powered by supercapacitors already exist in China since 2010.
This commercial development goes alongside many recent scientific advances in the field, including those of RS2E’s "Capacitive Storage" group coordinated by Thierry Brousse and Patrice Simon. The latter being delighted that "after electric boats powered by superpacitors, this electric tram is another demonstration that supercapacitors have become commercially viable for electrochemical storage in vehicles in the same way batteries are”.
First BlueTrams will be shipped in 2015 from a newly build factory in the Britany region.
The newly created “EDF pulse: Science and electricity” award chose three research groups including labs affiliated with RS2E as finalists.
The team co-ordinated by Prof. Patrice Simon (already rewarded in 2013 by science magazine La Recherche) is distinguished for its work in the field of supercapacitors. The research group includes the CIRIMAT (Toulouse) and PHENIX (Paris) labs as well as a scientist from UCLA.
Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon and his team are also finalists for the prize for their work on Li-rich materials. Such materials could lead to a 20% capacity increase of batteries compared to currently used materials (see article).
Prof. Renaud Bouchet, also a contributing member of RS2E, is another finalist with his new project on improved polymer electrolyte for lithium metal polymer batteries, known for their high level of safety. Two labs affiliated with RS2E, the LEPMI in Grenoble and the ICR in Marseille are participating to the research group.
With 3 out the 4 finalists being affiliated with RS2E, the significance in the field of electrochemical storage of our members is highlighted. The winner project will receive a €150.000 grant. It will be revealed during a ceremony in April.