While lithium and cobalt, extracts of natural elements, are used extensively for battery production, renewable energy sources — such as sun, tide and wind — currently provide limited options. At the core of the work Lin Ma is leading is the development of new ways to make energy storage technology more sustainable.
“Sodium-based options are primary to being able to store renewable energy, so that is a focus,” said Ma, who teaches courses such as Materials Science in Battery Technology and Thermodynamics.
As his team’s work progresses, Ma sees clear intersections with that of other BATT CAVE units. “There is tremendous opportunity for interdisciplinary research,” he said. “The work underway that comes immediately to mind are battery pack systems and mechanical failure mechanisms for certain chemistries. The potential for collaboration and continued learning is very exciting.”