With escalating oil prices and increasing environmental concerns, increasing attention is being paid to the development of battery technology to replace traditional energy. Lithium-ion batteries have been widely developed since Sony commercially released the first generation in 1991. Lithium-ion batteries are currently systems of choice, offering high energy density, flexible and lightweight design, and long lifespan in comparison to competing battery technologies. The following figure presents comparison of different battery technologies in terms of volumetric and gravimetric energy density. Lithium ion battery has superior volumetric and gravimetric energy density compared to Lead-acid, Ni-Cd, and Ni-MH batteries.
Lithium ion batteries have the potential to contribute to revolutionary shifts in the areas of distributed energy, pollution mitigation, and increased energy efficient use of the earth's natural resources. The need for cleaner energy-producing equipment is becoming a commercial necessity and will continue to grow in importance as demand for oil outpaces production capacity in the next decade. Advancements in materials science, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering are needed to ensure the chemical and mechanical long-term reliability of lithium ion battery technologies. Electrochemical Energy Laboratory (EEL) mainly focuses on the study of the new electrode materials and structures for next generation lithium ion batteries and fundamental electrochemical processes.