The grid-scale energy storage is the main way to enable highly efficient use of intermittent and low-density renewable energy and is expected to completely change the global energy structure. However, existing commercial energy storage technologies cannot meet the practical industrial requirements in terms of safety, energy density, and cost.
To promote the application of grid-scale energy storage, Dr. Yang Jin has been devoted to the research of solid-state batteries and early safety warnings of battery thermal runaway and proposed a series of innovative solutions at both battery materials and system level.
Yang got his bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Zhengzhou University. During his master's and doctoral studies at Xi’an Jiaotong University (Prof. Xiaoquan Zheng Group), he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked under the supervision of Prof. Ju Li to start research on batteries. Later, he went to Stanford University to continue his research on lithium batteries with Prof. Yi Cui, a top scholar in materials science. The novel lithium battery studies started under the guidance of Prof. Yi Cui.
After returning to China in 2016 and getting his Ph.D. degree, Yang joined Zhengzhou University as a faculty member and started building his own research group on grid-scale electrical energy storage. This area is critical for the storage and utilization of intermittent electricity produced by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Yang first time developed a new method of producing high-purity electrolytic lithium from low-purity LiCl using the solid-state electrolyte. Taking advantage of the high Li-ion selectivity of the solid electrolyte, high purity metallic lithium (>99.7 wt%) can be directly obtained through the electrolysis of low-purity LiCl. The cost is estimated to be only ~20% of the international metallic lithium price.
In the next step, Yang plans to industrialize the new lithium battery system. The first task is to make the single battery as large as possible to reduce the complexity of battery system management. He hopes to make the single battery ten times or even a hundred times larger than the laboratory prototype, completes a 100Kw solid-electrolyte-based liquid lithium metal battery module pilot test based on single cells, and then builds a pilot 2MW energy storage station.
Besides, Yang also would like to pass on the spirit of scientific research he once learned from Prof. Ju Li and Prof. Yi Cui to his students.