Center for Battery Sustainability and the 2nd Workshop

Faculty, researchers, students, and industry leaders gathered at the 2nd Battery Sustainability Workshop to discuss sustainability, recycling, and more. MIE Assistant Professor Juner Zhu, along with MIT professors Martin Z. Bazant and Richard D. Braatz, founded the Center for Battery Sustainability, after participating in last year’s event. 


MIE Assistant Professor Juner Zhu, along with MIT Professors Martin Z. Bazant and Richard D. Braatz, co-founded the Center for Battery Sustainability (CBS) after the 1st Battery Sustainability Workshop held in November 2022 on the Boston campus of Northeastern University. The center aims to tackle the scientific and engineering challenges to make batteries sustainable. CBS has Hyundai Motor Company and Shell International as its main sponsors (Research Members). In addition, about six companies and national labs have expressed interest in joining CBS as a Participant Member or non-membership collaborator. CBS is acting as an excellent platform for the two universities to collaborate with the indudocs.stry and national labs. CBS held their Steering Committee meeting with the Research Members on December 4th to formulate the two research projects for the first year. The topics covered non-destructive assessment of spent batteries and characterization of battery electrochemical degradation and mechanical swelling. CBS also provides research funding to support students and post

The 2nd Battery Sustainability Workshop was held on December 5th and 6th, 2023 on the Innovation Campus of Northeastern University in Burlington, MA. Over 70 participants joined the workshop, including representatives from 13 companies, 4 federal research labs/agencies, 7 universities, and 1 scientific journal, as well as students and postdocs working for CBS and Northeastern students who are interested in the battery sustainability sector.

The workshop started with a warm welcome address from the Dean of College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Gregory Abowd. “The first Battery Sustainability Workshop was held last year on our Boston campus, and the second workshop on our Burlington campus.” He said, “We have 11 more campuses for you to choose from for next year!”

Dr. Laurent Pilon, the Program Director at Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) delivered a keynote talk on battery circularity and introduced ARPA-E programs on this important topic.

(Figure credit: Dr. Laurent Pilon, ARPA-E)

Following the exciting opening, three CBS Talks were delivered by the Director Prof. Martin Z. Bazant, Executive Director Prof. Juner Zhu, and the Part Leader of the Hyundai Automotive Research & Development Division YongHwan Choi. The vision of CBS is introduced to the audience with specific examples of the PIs’ research and Hyundai’s R&D activities.

The workshop also gathered great talks from Yan Wang, a professor at WPI, on battery recycling; Nth Cycle CTO and Co-Founder Dr. Chad Vecitis on sustainable material innovations; Yue Qi, a professor at Brown, on electrolyte science; NREL Distinguished R&D researcher Dr. Hsin Wang on battery thermal runaway; ARL Senior Scientist and Team Leader Dr. Marshall A. Schroeder on Zn batteries; Saint-Gobain Program Manager Dr. Fei Wang on multifunctional foams for EVs; Georg Pesch, professor at UC-Dublin, on direct recycling; Hongli Zhu, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, on sustainable energy materials; and WUSTL Peng Bai, professor at WUSTL, on sodium ion batteries. Three informative panel sessions were organized to trigger the general discussions on important topics related to battery sustainability, and a poster session was held to showcase the research activities and outcomes of the Zhu Group and the Bazant Group.

Related Faculty: Juner Zhu, Gregory D. Abowd, Hongli (Julie) Zhu

Related Departments:Mechanical & Industrial Engineering