|STEM Research Leadership
|James ‘Chris’ Thomas, Ph.D.
1) Exposure to lithium ion battery and combustion fundamentals; 2) Opportunities to present work at internal (TAMU) and/or external conferences; 3) Opportunities to be co-author on conference and journal papers; 4) Potential exposure to personnel at NASA JSC.
|No prior research or experience is required. Team members should be dependable, excited to participate in research, and willing to learn. Preference will be given to students who are passionate about LIBs or combustion. Preference will be given to students with background (taken/enrolled) in thermodynamics, combustion science, or similar courses. Preference will be given to students who have prior knowledge/experience with chemical equilibrium analysis. Preference will be given to students who are interested in attending graduate school.
|Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are utilized as a means of electrical power storage in numerous common electronics (cell phones, laptops, etc.) and larger-scale systems (electric vehicles, spacecraft, etc.). Their catastrophic failure is generally derived from over-heating via thermal runaway (TR) and can release significant amounts of energy and toxic gases during subsequent combustion processes. These hazards are multiplied when the thermal runaway propagates from cell-to-cell in larger battery systems.The purpose of this project is to investigate the hazards associated with LIB thermal runaway which include energy release, high temperature gases, and toxic gas release. An a priori modeling scheme based on chemical equilibrium analysis will be developed to evaluate these hazards. Modeling efforts will be benchmarked against experiments that have been documented in the literature and experiments being conducted in the mentor’s laboratory. Follow-on modeling efforts will be utilized to inform future battery chemistries and designs, and guide future R&D efforts.