Louise Berben, UC Davis professor of chemistry
Louise Berben, professor of chemistry

UC Davis Grant Advances Battery Storage Research

The University of California, Davis, is awarding $435,000 to help eight scientists advance their research and innovations toward commercial applications through three proof-of-concept grant programs. The recipient from the College of Letters and Science, Professor Louise Berben, will investigate new ways to improve flow batteries.

Flow batteries store power in large tanks of liquid electrolytes and can help sustain electric grids by storing electricity from wind and solar generators. Current commercial versions rely on vanadium-based electrolytes in aqueous media. Berben, an inorganic chemist, is developing a version with higher energy density and wider operating temperature range using inexpensive aluminum compounds in a non-aqueous media.

Berben’s research was funded through the Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) grant program, which provides awards of up to $50,000 to campus innovators to enable demonstration of early proof-of-concept for technologies being developed at UC Davis. The College of Letters and Science also provided supplemental funding.

Award recipients will also participate in a structured entrepreneurial training program, such as the Entrepreneurship Academy hosted by the UC Davis Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Awardees are also paired with experienced business mentors to provide guidance on commercial translation.

— Adapted from an article by the UC Davis Office of Research

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