Dates & Venue

Tue, Wed and Thur, 28, 29 and 30 Nov 2017. Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa.

First international keynote announced

The first international keynote speaker at SA Energy Storage 2017 is Dr. Michael Thackeray, Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA


Michael Thackeray is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and senior scientist in the Electrochemical Energy Storage Department of the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He received his PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa (1977) and studied as a post-doctoral visitor at Oxford University, UK. He was manager of the Battery Unit at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa before moving to Argonne in 1994. From 2009 to 2014, he served as Director of the US Department of Energy’s ‘Energy Frontier Research Center’, the Center for Electrical Energy Storage.

Dr. Thackeray has focused his career on unraveling structure-electrochemical relationships in solid electrodes and electrolytes for battery systems and in designing new or improved materials. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, he contributed to the early concepts of high-temperature sodium-metal chloride (‘Zebra’) batteries, and pioneered the discovery of several transition-metal-oxide electrode materials for lithium batteries, notably the spinel LiMn2O4. He is also recognized for designing composite electrode structures to enhance the performance of lithium-ion battery systems. He has authored or co-authored more than 225 scientific publications and is credited with 59 patents, several of which have been licensed to industry on an international scale. Dr. Thackeray is on the Board of Directors of the International Battery Association, having served as Board Chairman (2015-2017) and President (1999-2002). He is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. His career in battery science and technology has been widely recognized, his most recent awards being the American Chemical Society E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (2016) and the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt) Lifetime Achievement Award (2017).

Keynote synopsis: Lithium-Ion Battery Materials – An Energy Storage Opportunity for Southern Africa

Over the past two decades, non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized electrical energy storage. These batteries now dominate the multi-billion dollar consumer electronics industry and the growing electric- and hybrid-electric vehicle markets. They are also being developed for large-scale stationary energy storage. A major reason for this success is that aqueous battery systems such as lead-acid, nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries are relatively heavy and operate at a relatively low cell voltage (<2V), thus providing a low energy density.

In contrast, non-aqueous lithium-ion technology is broad-based and extremely versatile, offering systems that operate at 4V and higher. Furthermore, the cell voltage and energy of a lithium-ion cell can be tailored by manipulation of the structure and composition of the anode and cathode materials that accommodate and release lithium ions during charge and discharge. Most cathode materials in today’s lithium-ion batteries are metal oxides containing lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and iron. Anode materials include predominantly carbon (notably graphite), lithium-titanium-oxide, and a new generation of carbon/silicon composites. Electrolytes typically contain a fluorinated lithium salt, such as LiPF6, dissolved in an organic solvent. Southern Africa is fortunate to possess many mineral ores that can be beneficiated into lithium-ion electrode and electrolyte products.

This presentation will summarize state-of-the-art materials technologies for lithium-ion batteries and highlight the opportunity for the African subcontinent to exploit its mineral base by refining and manufacturing high-quality products for a rapidly expanding electrical energy storage industry.

Chris Yelland

Chris Yelland

Leave a Comment