What have been the key battery technology breakthroughs to get us to where we are now? What are some new opportunities for large-scale energy storage & what’s MIT doing? What are some key lessons for startups to be successful in the battery industry?
Energy storage will play an increasingly important role in a decarbonized world. From electric vehicles to grid resiliency, batteries will impact the ultimate success of numerous industries that are critical to a low carbon society. Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, one of the world’s most prominent researchers in energy storage, will give a personal perspective on some of the challenges and opportunities for better and cheaper energy storage.
From a historical perspective, battery performance has improved steadily, but now the divergent needs for batteries in high energy density applications such as EVs (and, coming soon, electric aviation), and those for grid storage, which emphasizes ultra-low cost and earth-abundant materials, are becoming clear. He will give examples of emerging innovations that may address these different needs, including solid-state and other batteries that use alkali metal electrodes, and approaches that make use of the most widely available electroactive elements. The expectation is that the audience will come away with a realistic but exciting roadmap of possible areas of innovation for energy storage.
Finally, he will conclude with his personal experiences in building battery enterprises. Battery technologies are notoriously difficult to scale given high technology risk and high development costs. Yet-Ming will share some of the unique lessons learned at startups he has co-founded, including A123, 24M, and most recently Form Energy.
Prof. Chiang’s research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of advanced inorganic materials and related devices. Current topics include new cathode and anode materials for lithium ion batteries, phase transformations in electroactive materials, electrochemical device design, electrochemical-to-mechanical energy conversion, self-assembling colloids, and the stability and defect chemical properties of interfaces in inorganic materials.