Scientists peek inside batteries’ inner workings

ūüĒč BATTERIES:¬†Scientists at¬†Argonne National Laboratory¬†demonstrated techniques to peer inside¬†a lithium-ion battery as it operates and do real-time measurement of reactions. They were able to precisely measure the movement of ions ‚ÄĒ electrically charged molecules ‚ÄĒ through a lithium-ion battery.

  • Scientists previously were not able to precisely track ions‚Äô real-time movement in batteries. They would send a current through a battery and analyze what happened afterward.
  • Better understanding ion movement can help scientists change that movement to create batteries for specific uses. Specially catered batteries would operate and charge optimally for their individual use and could prove beneficial for a plethora of applications including electric vehicles and cell phones.
  • ‚ÄúFor years we wrote papers about what happens inside a battery, since we couldn‚Äôt see the things inside,‚ÄĚ Venkat Srinivasan, deputy director of Argonne‚Äôs Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, said in a news release.¬†‚Äč‚ÄúI always joked that whatever I said must be true, since we couldn‚Äôt confirm it. So for decades we have been looking for information like this, and it challenges people like me who have been making the predictions,‚ÄĚ


  • Iowa City-based agtech business¬†Rantizo¬†raised $7.5 million in Series A funding to speed company expansion,¬†reports AgFunderNews. The startup‚Äôs technology combines drones, a software platform, and imaging for crop spraying that is more precise, efficient, and environmentally conscious.
  • Texas-based¬†Corn Board Manufacturing¬†is partnering with Wisconsin-based engineering and architectural firm¬†McMahon Associates¬†to build a $15 million facility in Iowa that manufactures environmentally friendly shipping pallets from corn stover ‚ÄĒ the plant debris left in the field after harvesting ‚ÄĒ¬†reports the Des Moines Register.
  • The director of the¬†Great Lakes Bioenergy Resource Center¬†and other experts¬†explain in Agri-View¬†how bioeconomies that incorporate agtech could create more economic opportunities in Wisconsin‚Äôs rural communities. For example, large companies like Walmart and Google want to purchase electricity from renewable sources, which could include anaerobic digestors at or near farms.

ūüďą INVESTMENT:¬†Today the city of Chicago¬†launched¬†Startup Chicago, a database of more than 100 local startups seeking funding. It is intended to serve as a resource for venture capital firms looking to invest in Chicago‚Äôs tech scene.¬†Caporus Technologies,¬†FLEx Lighting,¬†Mycocycle, and¬†NanoGraf Technologies¬†are among the numerous cleantech startups¬†included in the database.

ūüß™ RESEARCH:¬†Illinois¬†Gov. J.B. Pritzker¬†and the¬†Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity¬†launched a $9 million initiative to¬†expand access to wet lab space¬†for startups, university researchers, incubators, and corporations.

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