Mar 19, 2018

Rolls Royce to develop EV batteries from contact lens material

Energy Storage
Electric Vehicles
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Rolls Royce and Superdielectric to work on energy storage systems for electric vehicles
The British automaker, Rolls Royce, has partnered with the research firm, Superdielectrics, to build an energy storage system made from the s...

The British automaker, Rolls Royce, has partnered with the research firm, Superdielectrics, to build an energy storage system made from the same material as contact lenses.

Superdielectrics has previously been working with the Universities of Surrey and Bristol to test polymer materials.

The materials, the consortium discovered, could be used to create a “supercapacitator” that can charge significantly faster than lithium-ion batteries.

The supercapacitator would be able to charge an electric vehicle (EV) in a matter of minutes, supplying it with enough power to last a whole day.

The partnership will see Superdielectrics provide this technology, whilst Rolls Royce applies its material science and technical experience.


“We believe that electrification will play an increasingly important role in many of our markets over the coming years and by working with partners on potential new technologies for energy storage we can ensure that Rolls-Royce is well positioned to take advantage of new developments,” stated Dave Smith, Director of Central Technology at Rolls Royce.

“We are delighted to be working with Rolls-Royce in the global race to develop advanced energy storage systems,” commented the CEO of Superdielectrics, Jim Heathcote.

“This agreement gives us access to their unparalleled scientific and technical expertise,” he added.

“I hope this agreement will ultimately create new jobs and business opportunities in the UK.”

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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