Novel Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion

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energies Editorial Novel Materials and Advanced Characterization for Energy Storage and Conversion Qingyuan Li 1,* , Jen-Hung Fang 2, Wenyuan Li 3 and Xingbo Liu 1 Citation: Li, Q.; Fang, J.-H.; Li, W.; Liu, X. Novel Materials and Advanced Characterization for Energy Storage and Conversion. Energies2022,15,7536. https:// doi.org/10.3390/en15207536 Received: 3 September 2022 Accepted: 13 September 2022 Published: 13 October 2022 Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affil- iations. Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). 1 2 3 * Correspondence: qingyuan.li1@mail.wvu.edu Global climate changes, such as frequent extreme weather, continuous temperature increase, and melting glaciers, constantly press us to reduce our dependence on the tradi- tional carbon-based energy resources. Currently, renewables, including solar, wind, and tidal energy, are widely used for power generation. Their costs are falling rapidly. However, renewables are undermined by their intermittency, which makes coupling them with a dispatchable storage capacity necessary to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply. Therefore, stable energy storage technologies are crucial to increase the market penetration of renewables. Given electricity plays a pivotal role in our life; it only accounts for 20% of the total energy consumption. The remaining 80% is from fuel [1]. Hydrogen is a clean fuel with a high calorific value and a high energy density up to 33.3 kW/kg, and it is generated mainly from fossil fuel. Less than 4% of the global hydrogen production comes from electrolysis; most of it comes from chlor-alkali electrolysis, rather than water [2]. So, the catalytic hydrogen production by water electrolysis will be the later focus of green fuel research in years to come. On the other side of the same coin, research of CO2 capture and its conversion into high value-added chemicals and fuels is gaining strong momentum, as we are aiming for the grand mission of carbon neutrality by 2050. As they are a star representative of energy storage, lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous these days. In recognition of their contribution to the development of lithium-ion batteries, the Nobel Prize in chemistry for 2019 was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. Currently, almost half of the lithium-ion battery demand is for electric vehicles. It is critical to develop lithium-ion batteries with high specific energy and safety [3]. Commercial lithium-ion batteries, nowadays, consist of a graphite anode, polypropylene fiber membrane, lithium-containing organic electrolyte, and LiFePO4, LiCoO2 or ternary oxide cathodes, etc. Although silicon-containing materials are also used as negative electrodes, they are not yet ready for large scale production due to the volume expansion and pulverization of silicon electrodes during charging and discharging. To meet the need of the largest application market of lithium-ion batteries, that is, electric vehicles with a cruising range > 500 KM at a market-vital cost [4], researchers have replaced the negative electrode with metal lithium to form a lithium metal battery and changed the positive electrode materials from traditional ternary oxides to high-nickel ternary oxides and lithium-rich manganese-based oxides [5,6]. However, these high-capacity materials all face a series of safety issues. In this regard, all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries have attracted widespread attention due to their high degree of safety. When they are compared to the current commercial lithium-ion batteries which have only a 250–300 Wh/Kg energy density, all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries have an almost two times higher energy density in current technologies. Moreover, other Li-based batteries such as Li-S or Li-O2 batteries have a theoretical energy density of 2600 and 3500 Wh/Kg, respectively [7–9], which Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Department, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA Energies 2022, 15, 7536. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15207536 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/energies

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