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Battery Passports using Distributed Ledger Technology

   Dyson School of Design Engineering

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  Dr Jacqueline Edge  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project represents a unique opportunity to undertake a fully funded PhD studentship, sponsored by the I3-Lab (The Imperial-IOTA-Infrastructures Lab) in the area of electric vehicle (EV) battery sustainability, circular economy and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

Batteries play a vital role in the energy transition, supporting electricity grids and enabling mobility of EVs. However, as they contain a diverse set of valuable materials, end of life recovery and recycling is paramount. In addition, spent batteries pose a serious pollution and health risk, as they have flammable components. For these reasons, a trustworthy circular economy for recovering spent batteries needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

To empower a circular economy for battery technology, decentralised DLT is an ideal tool for storing and managing life cycle inventory data of a battery throughout its lifetime, as a battery passport. Battery packs and key components (modules, cells, electrodes) can be connected to the Internet-of-Things, so that the full history of the battery packs and their constituent materials can be shared in a trusted manner between qualified stakeholders in the battery supply and value chain. The passport could include details of all component materials, manufacturing processes, quality tests, installation procedures, global distribution and use, in first and second life applications, as well as end-of-life processes. Such a platform would improve safety across the battery lifecycle, provide valuable data for research, enable trustworthy tracking of the materials and impacts associated with every step of the lifecycle and enable circularity through device & material recovery.

The aim of this PhD is to research the design aspects a battery passport, investigating what it should contain, where the data will come from and how it can make use of DLT to ensure that the information within it is trustworthy. The successful applicant will determine how to best populate the data on all component materials and develop the mechanisms for updating the passport based on battery manufacture and use. To enable a fully circular battery economy, the successful applicant will need to consider how to trace materials and components though all of their circular life cycles, including second life use of packs, reuse of battery cells and reuse of materials to remanufacture new cells.

This PhD is fully funded by the new I3-Lab, as part of an open collaborative call with the Transition to Zero Pollution initiative. The successful applicant will be hosted in the new I3-Lab, based in the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London. This project will be co-supervised by academics in the Mechanical Engineering and Computing departments, with the supervision team consisting of Dr. Jacqueline Edge, Dr. Billy Wu, Professor Gregory Offer and Professor William Knottenbelt.

Applicant requirements:

The ideal candidate will be a UK registered student (although international students will be considered), have a masters degree in science (computing/chemistry) or engineering (electrical/mechanical/electrochemical/chemical), achieving a first or 2:1 (or equivalent), with a focus on process, system or engineering design and numerical analysis. Good coding skills, in python or similar, and strong analytical skills are essential. The successful applicant will need to be enthusiastic about sustainability and the Circular Economy, pro-active, organised, and able to work well with other researchers, as well as technicians and laboratory support staff. Experience of energy storage and batteries is desirable. 

To apply for this PhD studentship, please send your CV and a covering letter, explaining your interest and how your background is relevant to the work, to Dr. Jacqueline Edge at [Email Address Removed] by 6 pm on Sunday the 31st July 2022.

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