A group of six researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of California received a patent for a new compound to create more versatile and eco-friendly large-scale batteries, according to a filing Tuesday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The six originally filed for the patent in late March 2014, at which time three of the inventors were associated with UNC-Chapel Hill.
The inventors sought to create a compound to address the need for sustainable methods to meet the increasingly large demand for energy, according to the patent application.
Lithium batteries have addressed this demand, but their use in large-scale applications – such as transportation, the application notes – remains a point of contention due to poor longevity, cost and combustibility.
The now-patented compound could potentially allow large-scale lithium batteries to work in a variety of temperatures with a low rate of combustibility, all in an eco-friendly manner.
Joseph M. DeSimone, who leads the DeSimone Research Group sponsored by UNC-CH and North Carolina State University, is listed as the lead inventor on the patent.
DeSimone, who has already received more than 150 patents, is one of few to have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, according to his group’s website.
Recently, he championed advancements in 3-D printing. An interview in which he addresses the topic with The Daily Tar Heel can be found here.
Ashish Pandya, who now works as a postdoctoral associate at The Shekio Group, another research group at UNC-CH, and Dominica Wong, who now works a senior chemist at Eastman Chemical Co. worked for DeSimone’s team at the time of the original filing and are also listed as inventors.
The patent can be found here.