Brendan Wirtz

Investigating Lithium Plating Detection in Graphite/NMC Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are a prominent energy storage technology with widespread applications in electronics and electric vehicles. Using Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles is especially attractive to decrease reliance on fossil fuels for transportation, but slow charge times dissuade consumers from purchasing them. A barrier to faster charging is a phenomena that occurs at high charge rates at the graphite electrode called lithium plating, which reduces the amount of energy the battery stores after charge and in extreme cases can short the battery. Being able to detect the occurrence of lithium plating without having to disassemble the battery is of great interest for application in electric vehicles that will make extreme fast charging more feasible. My SURF project will assess the capabilities of a lithium plating detection technique that uses only voltage and time data. Using this technique, I will study extreme fast charging and determine how fast Li-ion batteries can be charged while avoiding lithium plating.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to thank the Rose Hills Foundation for funding my summer project. This summer, although different than expected, was a period of scientific and personal growth that would not have been possible without your support. I became confident in my ability to understand scientific literature, communicate my findings to scholars in my field (as well as to a general audience), and analyze data. As I spent a significant amount of time reading, one of the most valuable skills I learned was using existing scientific literature to inform future experiments and hypotheses. This experience also gave me the unique opportunity to interact with peers in related disciplines, exposing me to current research efforts in other fields. The SURF fellowship has inspired me to pursue graduate education so that I can continue to investigate pressing engineering challenges. Thank you again for this fellowship opportunity!
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Bryan McCloskey