The US Government spent $760 million on its Argonne National Laboratory in 2016. Argonne channeled some of these funds to universities for academic work. The balance went to infrastructure. Plus its own research in energy storage, renewable power, environmental sustainability, super-computing, and national security. The heart of US battery research beats strongly within 1,700 acres of laboratories near Lemont in Illinois.
How Argonne National Laboratory Came About
The US Army founded the laboratory in 1942. Because Albert Einstein had earlier warned that Germany was developing “extremely powerful bombs of a new type”. He therefore thought America should do something similar and Roosevelt agreed.
Thus, Argonne became the site of the world’s first nuclear reactor. This enriched the uranium for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. However its nuclear mission ended in 1994, following the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. This opened doors for Argonne to become the heart of US battery research.
What’s New at the Heart of US Battery Research
Of course, this is not all that Argonne does, although it awards it high priority as critical energy research. Its Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) coordinates advanced energy storage projects nationwide. In so doing, it builds on its historic leadership.
First, it wants to “move beyond lithium-ion batteries”. And then “store at least five times more energy than today’s batteries at one-fifth the cost”. Furthermore it hopes to achieve this goal within the next five years and believes it is on target.
More About the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research
If Argonne is the heart of US battery research, then its JCESR labs must be where its spirit lies. We say so because the DOE founded it in 2012 to coordinate efforts of five national laboratories, ten universities, and five industrial firms. It tasked the team with developing clean energy storage for transportation and national grid storage. The heart of US battery research is alive and well at Argonne.
Preview Image: Argonne Battery Research