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News Article
Site: http://phys.org/technology-news/

After two years of research, a French team, mostly including researchers from the CNRS and CEA within the RS2E network on electrochemical energy storage have just designed an alternative technology to Li-ion for application in specific sectors. The researchers have developed the first battery using sodium ions in the usual "18650" format, an industry standard. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium. The batteries have displayed performance levels comparable to their lithium counterparts, and this new technology is already attracting industrial interest. It could be used to store renewable energies in the future. The idea for using sodium in batteries dates back to the 1980s. At the time, lithium was preferred to sodium as the material of choice and it has been widely used ever since for portable electronic devices such as tablets, laptops and electric vehicles. However, lithium has a major drawback in that it is fairly rare on our planet. Teams from the RS2E (with the CNRS as the leading partner) therefore turned towards sodium, a thousand times more abundant. They developed sodium-ion battery prototypes where sodium ions move from one electrode to another in a liquid during the charge and discharge cycles. The first step was to find the ideal "recipe" for the positive electrode (cathode) of the battery. Six partner laboratories of the RS2E (see list below) were involved in the project with the goal to find the right composition for this sodium electrode. The development of a future prototype was then entrusted to CEA, a member of the RS2E network. In only six months, CEA was able to develop the first sodium-ion prototype in the "18650" format, that of the batteries found on the market, i.e. a cylinder 1.8cm in diameter and 6.5cm in height. This should facilitate technology transfer to existing production units. Other international laboratories also work on this technology, but none of them has yet announced the development of such a "18650" prototype. This second stage made it possible to move from the laboratory scale (synthesis of several grams of cathode material) to the "pre-industrial" scale (synthesis of 1kg batches). It enabled the production of batteries with unmatched power performance levels. This new technology is already showing promising results. Its energy density (the quantity of electricity that can be stored by Kg of battery) amounts to 90Wh/kg, a figure already comparable with the first lithium-ion batteries. And its lifespan-the maximum number of charge/discharge cycles that a battery can withstand without any significant loss of performance-exceeds 2,000 cycles. But most of all, these cells are capable of charging and delivering their energy very rapidly. The main advantage of the technology is that it does away with lithium, a rare element only found in specific locations, contrary to sodium. Its other advantage is financial, as using sodium could make it possible to manufacture less expensive batteries. The project has given rise to a number of CNRS and CEA academic publications and patents. It received financial support from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the CNRS, CEA, the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Ministry of Defence's Armament Directorate (DGA), among others. Bearing in mind the similarities with lithium-ion batteries, industrial players have already expressed interest in the technology, notably those who already work in partnership with the RS2E network. The next stage of the project is to optimize and increase the reliability of processes with a view to future commercialization. Explore further: New battery technologies take on lithium-ion


News Article
Site: http://www.nanotech-now.com/

Abstract: High-tech sponges of the infinitely small, nanoporous materials can capture and release gaseous or liquid chemicals in a controlled way. A team of French and German researchers from the Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris (CNRS/Chimie ParisTech) and the Institut Charles Gerhardt de Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier/ENSCM)1 has developed and described one of these materials, DUT-49, whose behavior is totally counterintuitive. When pressure is increased for a sample of DUT-49 to absorb more gas, the material contracts suddenly and releases its contents—as if, when inhaling, the lungs contracted and expelled the air that they contained. This work, published in Nature on April 6, 2016, makes it possible to envisage innovative behavior in materials science. Capturing toxic molecules in ambient air, storing hydrogen, targeting drug release—the list of applications that could use flexible nanoporous materials is endless. These materials use the large surface area in their pores to capture and store gaseous or liquid molecules: this phenomenon is called adsorption2. Their pores can adsorb impressive quantities of products; they keep getting bigger until they reach their flexibility limit. A French and German team has designed a novel type of nanoporous material: DUT-49. Formed by self-assembly from a carbon skeleton and copper atoms, its structure is both organic and metallic. It is an incredibly porous powder: the internal3 surface area of a single gram of this material is 5,000 m². So DUT-49 can adsorb the equivalent of a third of its weight in methane. Like other "intelligent" materials in its family, its properties change based upon external stimulations, such as pressure, temperature or light. If the pressure is increased while a gas is being captured, both the amount of gas adsorbed and, for the most common case, the material's pore size increase. DUT-49's unusually high flexibility causes an unexpected phenomenon though: as the material fills with gas, it contracts suddenly when it reaches a certain pressure and its volume halves if the pressure continues to increase. Researchers originally regarded this an instrumental failure, because none of the millions of other known materials that adsorb gases behave in this way. However this "negative adsorption" phenomenon has been confirmed by extra measurements and the team has been able to describe the mechanism. The gas molecules stored in the pores of DUT-49 establish strong interactions with the solid's structure. Depending on the amount of gas adsorbed, this can disturb the arrangement of the atoms that form the material and eventually cause it to contract. This specific behavior has been tested with butane and methane and is expected to be applicable to other gaseous compounds in DUT-49. DUT-49 is another recently discovered material with "abnormal" physical properties, such as those with negative thermal expansion that contract when they are heated. This result opens up a broad field of study on flexible porous materials and their innovative behavior in materials science. This could lead to developing nanometric switches and sensors. The material's deflation is a strong response to a small event triggered from an easily detected threshold value. 1This project was supported by the Institut Universitaire de France in particular. 2In absorption, the captured entity disappears, whereas in adsorption the gas molecules are only trapped. 3Entirety of the surface available to adsorb molecules Full bibliographic information A pressure amplifying framework with negative gas adsorption transitions. Simon Krause, Volodymyr Bon, Irena Senkovska, Ulrich Stoeck, Dirk Wallacher, Daniel M. Többens, Stefan Zander, Renjith S. Pillai, Guillaume Maurin, François-Xavier Coudert & Stefan Kaskel. Nature. April 6, 2016. doi: 10.1038/nature17430 About CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange) The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) is a public organization under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | December 1, 2015
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

The first sodium-ion battery in an 18650 format was recently developed by researchers in the RS2E network (Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie) in France, according to recent reports. The new sodium-ion (Na-ion) battery prototype possesses an energy density of 90 Wh/kilogram — putting it on roughly equal ground with early lithium-ion batteries. The lifespan of the prototype is higher than 2,000 charge-discharge cycles, though, and sodium is cheaper than lithium of course. Also worth noting, is that the prototype possesses rapid charge and delivery rates. The first step was to find the ideal “recipe” for the positive electrode (cathode) of the battery. Six partner laboratories of the RS2E (see list below) were involved in the project with the goal to find the right composition for this sodium electrode. The development of a future prototype was then entrusted to CEA, a member of the RS2E network. In only six months, CEA was able to develop the first sodium-ion prototype in the “18650” format, that of the batteries found on the market, i.e. a cylinder 1.8cm in diameter and 6.5cm in height. This should facilitate technology transfer to existing production units. Other international laboratories also work on this technology, but none of them has yet announced the development of such a “18650” prototype. This second stage made it possible to move from the laboratory scale (synthesis of several grams of cathode material) to the “pre-industrial” scale (synthesis of 1kg batches). It enabled the production of batteries with unmatched power performance levels. This new technology is already showing promising results. Its energy density (the quantity of electricity that can be stored by Kg of battery) amounts to 90Wh/kg, a figure already comparable with the first lithium-ion batteries. And its lifespan—the maximum number of charge/discharge cycles that a battery can withstand without any significant loss of performance—exceeds 2,000 cycles. But most of all, these cells are capable of charging and delivering their energy very rapidly. The main advantage of the technology is that it does away with lithium, a rare element only found in specific locations, contrary to sodium. Its other advantage is financial, as using sodium could make it possible to manufacture less expensive batteries. The project has given rise to a number of CNRS and CEA academic publications and patents. It received financial support from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the CNRS, CEA, the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Ministry of Defence’s Armament Directorate (DGA), among others. The researchers involved are now working to improve reliability, and pave the way to commercialization and, presumably, to a wide rollout where application of the technology makes sense. At this point, the exact circumstances where the technology will immediately make sense aren’t yet clear. Image Credit: RS2E    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


Researchers within the RS2E network on electrochemical energy storage (Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie) in France have developed the first sodium-ion battery in an 18650 format. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium. The energy density of the new Na-ion cell is 90 Wh/kg, a figure comparable with the first lithium-ion batteries; its lifespan exceeds 2,000 care/discharge cycles. The cells are also capable of charging and delivering their energy very rapidly. While numerous other laboratories are also working on Na-ion batteries (e.g., earlier post), none has yet announced the development of such an 18650 prototype. Six partner laboratories of the RS2E were involved in the project with the goal to find the right composition for the sodium cathode. The development of a future prototype was then entrusted to CEA, a member of the RS2E network. In six months, CEA was able to develop the first sodium-ion prototype in the 18650 form—i.e. a cylinder 18mm in diameter and 65mm in height, the. This should facilitate technology transfer to existing production units. The project has given rise to a number of CNRS and CEA academic publications and patents. It received financial support from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the CNRS, CEA, the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Ministry of Defence’s Armament Directorate (DGA), among others. The next stage of the project is to optimize and increase the reliability of processes with a view to future commercialization. The RS2E network is headed by Jean-Marie Tarascon, a professor at the Collège de France and Patrice Simon, professor at the Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier. RS2E is focused on five main research areas: Advanced Li-ion: dedicated to the Li-ion technology, it will address the remaining locks at the electrode materials, electrolytes and formulation in order to increase their performance, reliability and safety. Capacitive storage:Common research on batteries and supercapacitors including i) the nano-structuration of oxide via ‘template’ approaches, ii) the making of microporous carbon electrodes and iii) the formulation of new electrolytes among which ionic liquids. Eco-compatible storage: it will be dealing with problems of recycling and lifecycle analysis of materials and systems that have been put aside for too long and will prevail the context of sustainable development via i) new concepts of renewable electrodes and ii) the development of innovating syntheses based rather on bio-inspired, biomimetic and/or bio-assisted approaches than on the “green chemistry” precepts. New chemistries: This area includes work on Li-air and Li-S as well as i) Na-ion technology, ii) new systems (Na-D, Redox flow) for the mass storage, and iii) all-solid technology for high temperature stationary applications. Smart materials: The purpose of this thematic is to identify, ensure the chemical functioning and shaping up of materials which, thanks to their redox properties, possess optical, thermo-electrical and modular electrochromic properties; their chemistries are sometimes compatible to design clever bi-functional architectures/shapes (faradic-photovoltaic, faradic-thermo-electric or capacitive-piezo-electric). Eight partners are involved in the Na-ion battery project, including six RS2E laboratories:


El-Shafie A.,National University of Malaysia | Najah A.,University of Malaysia, Terengganu | Alsulami H.M.,Ministry of Higher Education | Jahanbani H.,University of Melbourne
Water Resources Management | Year: 2014

Potential evapotranspiration (ETo) is an essential hydrologic parameter for having better understanding for hydrologic cycle in certain catchment area. In addition, ETo is vital for calculating the agricultural demand. In fact, Penman-Monteith (PM) method is considered as reference method for estimating (ETo), however, this method required a lot of data to be used which is not usually available in many catchment areas. Furthermore, there are several efforts that have been performed as competitor to reach accurate estimation of (ETo) when there is lack of data to utilize (PM) method, but still required numerous research. Recently, methods based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been suggested to provide reliable prediction model for several application in engineering and especially for hydrological process. However, time series prediction based on Artificial Neural Network (ANN) learning algorithms is fundamentally difficult and faces problem. One of the major shortcomings is that the ANN model experiences over-fitting problem during training session and also occurs when a neural network loses its generalization. In this research a modification for the classical Multi Layer Preceptron- Artificial Neural Network (MLP-ANN) modeling namely; Ensemble Neural Network (ENN) is proposed and applied for predicting daily ETo. The proposed model applied at two different region with two different climatic conditions, Rasht city located north part of Iran and Johor Bahru City, Johor, Malaysia using maximum and minimum daily temperature collected from 1975 to 2005. The result showed that the ENN outperformed the classical MLP-ANN method and successfully predict daily ETo utilizing maximum and minimum temperature only with satisfactory level of accuracy. In addition, the proposed model could achieve accuracy level better than the traditional competitor methods for ETo. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

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