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UBC Okanagan assistant professor working to create safer, cheaper batteries

Dr. Jian Liu of UBC Okanagan is conducting research in materials and interface design for next-generation battery technologies. UBC Okanagan

An assistant professor at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna is conducting research to further advance the technology behind zinc-ion batteries.

Since starting research early last year, Dr. Jian Liu and his team have been looking for ways to develop renewable technologies, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase public awareness of renewable energy.

Called a new and promising energy storage technology, zinc-ion batteries are being touted as being cheaper, safer and longer lasting than lithium-ion batteries.

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For more about zinc-ion batteries, click here, here and here.

“We are developing a component to make zinc-ion batteries better. We developed new surface coating technology to reduce and avoid previous battery problems,” said Liu, who works out of UBCO’s School of Engineering and runs the Advanced Materials for Energy Storage lab.

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Liu says the zinc-ion batteries being developed at UBC are safe and non-flammable in comparison to the lithium-ion batteries that pose a high risk of catching fire and exploding.

He added that the team is also researching solid-state and aqueous zinc batteries.

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