Professor Isabel Ferreira of the Materials Science Department of FCT NOVA obtained once more funding through the European Research Center. The "ERC Proof of Concept" allows the Researcher to have access to 150,000 euros over a period of 18 months to develop a new generation of aluminum batteries and paper under the project "CAPSEL - Cellulose Aluminum Polymer multi-ion composite Solid-electrolyte".
Efficient batteries today rely heavily on liquid electrolytes (substances that can produce electrically conductive solutions) and lithium. Isabel Ferreira and her colleagues developed a new solid electrolyte that could efficiently replace liquid electrolytes. It contains selected cellulose, aluminum and ions and is made simply and economically.
These materials are more abundant in nature than lithium, are harmless to the environment and can be recycled through conventional processes. In this way, according to Professor Isabel Ferreira, the low-cost batteries developed with the new electrolyte would be accessible to developing countries and less affluent communities, and would have a positive environmental impact. In addition, they would have a longer lifespan and a reduction in weight and size compared to the current lithium-based batteries.
"ERC Proof of Concept" grants are only available to researchers who have already obtained an ERC scholarship like Isabel Ferreira achieved in 2015.This funding will cover the activities developed in the initial phase of transforming research results into a commercial or socially valuable proposal, that is, in the initial stages of precompetitive development.
The achievement of this funding reconfirms FCT NOVA's commitment to research and the quality of its teams.