Given the massive shifts facing the future of the energy environment, it is important to evaluate the thinking around some of the key issues of the evolving scenario. In this talk Professor R. Vasant Kumar addressed some of these issues, considering aspects of energy storage, advanced battery structures, resources and environmental issues. Recycling and recovery of upgraded materials from spent batteries are crucial considerations towards net-zero strategies for the large-scale use of batteries. Several factors including future research trajectories with respect to low-carbon resources become matters of paramount interest. Understanding battery chemistry basics is critical to unlocking the issues of energy, power, costs, safety, resources, and sustainability.
R Vasant Kumar is a Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and the head of Materials Chemistry Group. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Energy and the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy (IOM3), and has published over 370 papers, 20 patents, 12 book chapters and one book. He is an honorary/guest Professor in five overseas universities, and has received an Honorary Engineering Degree from the University of Malaysia (2011), the Kroll Medal from IOM3, and the Armourers & Brasiers Enterprise Award. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, “Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy” since 2004, and sits on the Advisory Board of TECHMET Ltd and the Korea National Lithium Research Centre.
His research has led to licenses and industrial practices and he has founded four start-up companies to commercialise these efforts. Currently, Professor Kumar’s research group is working on several research projects underpinned by harnessing of chemical reactions in a variety of applications that range from energy devices such as batteries and fuel cells to environmental research in mineral carbonation, sensors, sustainability and recycling of materials and photocatalytic reactions.