MSE Seminar Series: Donald R. Sadoway
Friday, September 7, 2012
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
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Innovation in Electrochemical Technology: from Batteries to Metals Extraction
Donald R. Sadoway John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This seminar is sponsored by the Materials Science Graduate Society.
The road to sustainability is paved with electrochemical technology, whether it be a solution to the problem of intermittency in the generation of electricity by renewable sources such as wind or solar or a solution to the problem of the carbon intensity associated with metals production. Examples of applied electrochemistry in action will be illustrated in two different settings:
(1) metals production by molten oxide electrolysis (MOE), which is the electrolytic decomposition of a metal oxide into molten metal and oxygen gas. The range of candidate metals and their alloys spans base metals (Fe, Mn, Ni, Cr), reactive metals (Ti, Zr), and rare earth metals (lanthanons and U);
(2) stationary batteries for storage and delivery of off-peak power with emphasis on colossal current capability, long service lifetime, and very low cost. Such large format batteries are the key enabling technology for carbon-free renewable, but intermittent, electric power generation. At the same time, such batteries installed on the existing grid would reduce price volatility, increase reliability, and cut carbon emissions.