Swansea University is collaborating with OXIS Energy UK Ltd to support the development of enhanced lithium metal anodes to improve the cycle life of lithium-sulfur or Li-S batteries, rechargeable batteries, notable for their high specific energy.
The collaboration involves OXIS part-funding a Swansea University PhD student on a four-year programme to improve the performance of Li-S batteries. The remaining funding will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through Swansea University's Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A).
OXIS Energy is already in the process of establishing a purpose-built facility, at Port Talbot, near Swansea University, for the production of electrolyte and cathode-active material specifically for the mass production of lithium sulfur cells. This facility will house advanced equipment and help OXIS enhance the performance of its technology as well as providing well-trained staff through PhD programmes at Swansea University, expertise that OXIS could tap into in future years.
CEO of OXIS Energy, Huw Hampson-Jones, himself a graduate of Swansea University said: "We are delighted to be involved in this PhD programme which we hope will provide further insight into the research we are doing. We also want Wales, through our facility in Port Talbot, to be leading the way in the commercial production of lithium sulfur cells for battery systems. We believe that this programme will create highly-skilled jobs and help to promote Wales on the world stage."
Professor Owen Guy who is head of the chemistry department at Swansea University said: "Our collaboration with OXIS Energy is of huge strategic importance to the University and builds upon the expertise of Professor Serena Margadonna's Energy Storage group, within the University's Future Manufacturing Research Institute (FMRI).
The PhD programme with OXIS is just one part of a wider collaboration with OXIS, developing lithium sulfur battery-related technologies and applications. OXIS is also a partner in Swansea's £90m Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM) project. The relationship will provide the next generation of talent for OXIS Energy's new facility in Wales."