Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > News > DFG research team nominated for the German Future Prize

December 8th, 2007

DFG research team nominated for the German Future Prize

Abstract:
Cooperation project between science and industry

Story:
When this year's German Future Prize is awarded on 6 December, researchers funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and their work will also take the limelight. Andreas Gutsch, Gerhard Hörpel and Paul Roth are one of the four research teams who are hopefuls for winning the 250,000 euros in prize money that accompanies the Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation. The three researchers were nominated for their work on a novel technique for making high performance, long-lasting and safe lithium-ion batteries - a promising development for the future that is the result of a unique cooperation between the DFG, a number of universities and industrial partners.

Enabling large-scale applications for traditionally small-scale uses- this could be the motto for the work done by the three researchers who have been nominated for the Future Prize. Small lithium-ion batteries are in widespread use in laptop computers and mobile phones as well as in camcorders and rechargeable screwdrivers. For larger stationary applications, in cars, or wherever high capacity energy storage is needed, it has been impossible to use lithium-ion batteries due to safety issues. Large lithium-ion batteries contain so much energy that until now existing designs were prone to explode easily if damaged.

Andreas Gutsch, Gerhard Hörpel and Paul Roth have managed to overcome this hurdle in lithium-ion technology, which led to their nomination. They have developed a "separator" that separates the anode and cathode inside the battery, thus preventing it from short-circuiting. Small lithium-ion batteries also have a separator, but it is made of a polymer membrane that is too unstable for large-scale applications. The newly developed separator, on the other hand, is made of a porous ceramic about 20 microns thick that is made of nanoparticles, which has exceptionally high thermal stability and is very robust.

It is hard to overestimate the significance of this development. It will enable very high performance lithium-ion batteries to be used in environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles for the first time, helping cut fuel consumption, with the potential of halving emissions. It will also be possible to use wind and solar energy much more efficiently with large lithium-ion batteries. These and other applications are also intended to capture a slice of a billion-euro market, with sales of lithium-ion batteries predicted to almost triple from the current figure of 1.4 billion euros per year by 2015.

This innovation, which is not only future-oriented but which also promises to be worth billions, was also achieved due to the financial and practical support provided by the DFG. Andreas Gutsch and Gerhard Hörpel, who at the time were employed in R&D at what was then Degussa AG (now part of Evonik Industries AG) started working on the development of novel nanoparticles in the mid-1990s. It was not long before they sought, and found, opportunities to cooperate with universities doing basic research in the field and receiving DFG funding in various forms. One of the most successful institutions working in the field was Collaborative Research Centre 445 "Nanoparticles from the Gas Phase: Formation, Structure, Properties" that was established at the University of Duisburg in 1999 (now part of the University of Essen-Duisburg), which was led by Paul Roth.

In the year 2000 this collaboration led to a joint project involving industry and academia that remains unique to the present day, the " Projekthaus Nanomaterialien" or "Nanomaterials Project House". This involved researchers from Degussa, the University of Duisburg and six other universities working together on the research and development of nanoparticles at the Degussa plant in Hanau, funded jointly by Degussa and the DFG.

For the researchers from industrial R&D, this cooperation with the DFG and the universities was a "key step", as Andreas Gutsch emphasised after being nominated for the Future Prize. For the DFG, which provided more that seven million euros in funding to the Nanomaterials Project House as part of its Priority Programme "Handling of Highly Dispersed Powders", the cooperation represented new territory in terms of research and funding policy. "For the first time, researchers from industry and universities are working in partnership with jointly defined goals on a large scale," emphasised the President of the DFG at the time, Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker. The lithium-ion battery separators are one of the fruits of this unique project partnership.

In addition to this cooperation and funding, there are also other close ties between the researchers who have been nominated and the DFG. Andreas Gutsch and Paul Roth both provide their expertise to the DFG, and the researchers and scientists who submit funding proposals to the DFG, as reviewers and peer reviewers for Collaborative Research Centres as well as in other funding programmes. Gutsch, who did his very first work as a research assistant in a project funded by the DFG, was also a member of the Joint Commission of the German Science Council and the DFG for the Excellence Initiative over the past two years and was thus involved in selecting the most promising graduate schools, clusters of excellence and institutional strategies to promote top-level research at German universities. Paul Roth was the coordinator of SFB 445, located in Duisburg-Essen, until 2002, funding for which was extended for another three years by the DFG just at the end of November.

This promising lithium-ion technology is also the subject of a new research initiative recently launched by the DFG, which is also supported by Evonik Industries. Seven universities and several non-university research institutes are involved in this undertaking, which was initiated by the Energy Conversion Project Group at the DFG's Head Office in Bonn. They hope to lay the foundations for the development of even more powerful high-capacity energy storage solutions -thus boosting Germany's position in this globally competitive field. The DFG is providing 3.8 million euros in funding for this project over an initial three-year period.

Further Information:

The official award ceremony will be televised by the German broadcaster ZDF on 6 December at 10:15 p.m.

Further information about the nominees and their research work is available from
http://www.deutscher-zukunftspreis.de/newsite/_en/2007/kurzbeschreibung_02.shtml

For detailed information on the DFG's research initiative on high performance lithium-ion batteries, visit
http://www.dfg.de/aktuelles_presse/pressemitteilungen/2007/presse_2007_56.html (only available in German).

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers September 2nd, 2015

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products August 13th, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Reports Financial Statements as of June 30, 2015, and Announces a Stock Repurchase Program August 10th, 2015

Molecular trick alters rules of attraction for non-magnetic metals August 5th, 2015

Announcements

QEOS and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Industry’s First CMOS Platform for MillimeterWave Markets: GLOBALSOLUTIONSSM Partnership will enable next-generation wireless technologies for applications in IoT, 5G and automotive September 3rd, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Catena Partner to Provide Next-Generation RF Connectivity Solutions for Growing Wireless Markets: Catena Wi-Fi and Bluetooth RF technologies available on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm Super Low Power Process technology September 3rd, 2015

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015

Making fuel from light: Argonne research sheds light on photosynthesis and creation of solar fuel September 3rd, 2015

Automotive/Transportation

QEOS and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Industry’s First CMOS Platform for MillimeterWave Markets: GLOBALSOLUTIONSSM Partnership will enable next-generation wireless technologies for applications in IoT, 5G and automotive September 3rd, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

Lehigh University-DuPont tribology research seeks to reduce wear and waste August 13th, 2015

Flexible dielectric polymer can stand the heat August 6th, 2015

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products August 19th, 2015

Drexel engineers 'sandwich' atomic layers to make new materials for energy storage August 15th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015

Reversible Writing with Light: Self-assembling nanoparticles take their cues from their surroundings September 3rd, 2015

A marine creature's magic trick explained: Crystal structures on the sea sapphire's back appear differently depending on the angle of reflection September 2nd, 2015

RUSNANOPRIZE Directorate Announces New Deadline for Nominations Submission – September 11, 2015 September 1st, 2015

Research partnerships

QEOS and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Industry’s First CMOS Platform for MillimeterWave Markets: GLOBALSOLUTIONSSM Partnership will enable next-generation wireless technologies for applications in IoT, 5G and automotive September 3rd, 2015

Turning clothing into information displays September 2nd, 2015

Sustainable nanotechnology center September 1st, 2015

$200K Awarded to Develop In Vitro Lung Test for Toxicity of Inhaled Nanomaterials: In Vitro Lung Test Designed to Protect Human Health and Replace Animal Testing September 1st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic