Next Generation Energy Storage Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities for a Clean Energy Future

Date & Time: 
Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:30am
Rahul Mukherjee
Discovery Park F175

Advanced battery storage technologies require transformative innovations in six key metrics: (1) Specific energy, (2) Specific power, (3) Life span, (4) Safety, (5) Eco friendliness, and (6) Cost. Over the last decade, interest in advanced energy storage solutions has increased substantially, largely attributed to the advent of modern technologies such as smart homes and electric vehicles. However, the pace of progress in the field of energy storage has largely been lagging owing to the fundamental limitations associated with cost, safety and overall performance of commercial lithium ion batteries. Today, it is well recognized that next generation energy storage technologies must go “beyond the traditional lithium ion chemistry” in order to ensure disruptive, rather than incremental impact. In this respect, Dr. Mukherjee’s research focuses on engineering novel nano-materials for high-performance reliable energy storage systems while establishing fundamental mechanisms for innovative electrochemical systems that are inherently safe and economical. In this talk, Dr. Mukherjee will present some of the approaches that were incorporated to facilitate longevity, high-performance and scalability of graphene and silicon-based anodes for lithium ion batteries. In another approach, Dr. Mukherjee has eliminated flammable organic solvents and expensive and toxic heavy metals such as cobalt and lead to develop a unique aqueous aluminum ion battery technology. Several other strategies to introduce transformational impact in the field of energy storage will also be discussed while outlining their merits and challenges. Dr. Mukherjee’s vision on advanced energy storage technologies relies on challenging conventional wisdom and exploring “out-of-the-box” ideas in order to enable breakthrough innovations and facilitate large-scale adoption of clean energy.

Rahul Mukherjee

Dr. Mukherjee received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2014. He established EnerMat Technologies, a lithium-ion battery start-up, funded by the state of New York and the National Science Foundation, in 2015. Later that year, Dr. Mukherjee joined the team at EverOn24 LLC, an aqueous battery start-up based out of the state of Massachusetts. Dr. Mukherjee has raised over $1M in state, federal and private funding, including serving as the Principal Investigator on an NSF STTR award. He has also been recognized in national and regional awards, including the USPTO sponsored Collegiate Inventors Competition and the Lemelson-MIT Prize. Dr. Mukherjee is an inventor on several patents in the field of energy storage and has published scientific articles in high-impact factor journals such as Nature Communications, Nano Energy and ACS Nano, with a cumulative citation of over 1300 and an h-index of 13.

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