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Some academics struggle to explain From Desalination to Electric Cars

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Some academics struggle to explain From Desalination to Electric Cars Powered By Docstoc
					 Prof. Doron Aurbach


Driving Battery Technology Forward
From Desalination to Electric Cars
S    ome academics struggle to explain
the practical importance of their
                                            of consumer electronics. “We’re also
                                            collaborating with General Motors in
                                                                                      based batteries that can be recycled
                                                                                      thousands of times. These non-toxic
research to the outside world. Not          the US, Merck in Germany, and HPL in      batteries demonstrate almost none
Doron Aurbach. This veteran member          Switzerland, along with several Israeli   of the “self-discharge” that causes
of the Bar-Ilan Faculty of Exact Sciences   companies. The number of industrial       batteries to weaken over time, and
has an easy-going relationship with         firms with which we work is a measure      generate roughly twice the amount of
industrial innovators worldwide, thanks     of the significance of what we do.”        energy as their lead-acid counterparts.
to his outstanding personal leadership
in the field of energy storage and           A Bar-Ilan alumnus himself, Prof.         According to Prof. Aurbach, battery
conversion.                                 Aurbach is best known for the primary     technologies are essential for meeting
                                            role he played in the development         energy needs in a world with dwindling
“That man I was speaking to a moment        and first commercial use of the            natural resources. “Part of our work
ago works for LG,” says Aurbach,            lithium battery – now standard issue      focuses on creating batteries for
referring to the Korean company that is     in cellphones and computers. Today,       electric vehicles, which would reduce
one of the world’s largest manufacturers    his research focuses on magnesium-        our dependence on fossil fuels,” he


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                                                                                      SCIENCE AND INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS BIU TODAY




                                                       “We’re also collaborating with
                                                       General Motors in the US,
                                                       Merck in Germany, and HPL in
                                                       Switzerland, along with several
                                                       Israeli companies. The number
                                                       of industrial rms with which
                                                       we work is a measure of the
                                                       signi cance of what we do.”



says, adding that his group is actively    is wasted because there is currently          Despite his outstanding record, Prof.
collaborating with ETV Motors, a           no load leveling technology that would        Aurbach – who holds 12 patents
Herzliya-based company that develops       allow power station activity to fluctuate      for energy storage technologies –
solutions for extended range electric      in accordance with consumption,” he           emphasizes that designing robust
vehicles.                                  says. “This is an important practical         solutions for energy and water problems
                                           challenge for the industry.”                  remains a slow and painstaking
Aurbach’s group is also working on
new technologies for storing the non-                                                    process. “Our achievements were
                                           In a separate area of his research, Prof.
polluting energy harvested from wind       Aurbach is tackling another practical         based on years and years of systematic
turbines and solar power stations.“The     challenge: water desalination. “With          research,” he says. “This same
sun and wind are clean, renewable          Israel’s limited resources, commercial        systematic approach – which involves
sources of energy, but we can’t rely on    desalination is an absolute necessity,”       examining a huge number of variables
them all the time,” he says. “Similarly,   he says, noting that worldwide, about         – is what makes our work so valuable
the level of energy consumption                                                          to our industrial partners. We do the
                                           one-fifth of the world’s population lacks
changes periodically. In alternative                                                     science. They make the batteries.”
                                           dependable access to clean drinking
energy – as well as in conventional
power plants – we need technologies        water. “In our lab, we’re working on
                                           improved technologies for electodialysis      And with so many industrial leaders
that can hold onto the energy when it is                                                 turning to Prof. Aurbach’s lab for the
created, so it can be delivered at times   – a process in which voltage applied
                                           to sea water selectively moves salts          energy storage solutions that put the
of peak consumer demand.”
                                           through a filter, leaving fresh water          spark in modern technologies, Bar-Ilan
This area of research – called “load       behind. This is practical science, based      University is fast becoming the “go-
leveling” – is a prime area of activity    on solving one of the world’s most            to” address for all that is green and
in Prof. Aurbach’s lab. “A lot of energy   pressing problems.”                           environmentally friendly.


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posted:9/16/2010
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Description: EV refers to the vehicle power supply as a driving force, with the motor drive the wheels moving in line with road traffic, vehicle safety regulations requirements. Because of the smaller environmental impact than conventional cars, is widely optimistic about its prospects, but the current technology is not yet mature.