Experts from the University of Birmingham and the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have signed an agreement to launch a joint research centre into energy storage.

The partnership between the University and the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics (IET) of CAS creates a platform for both partners to launch new programmes that continue their world-leading energy storage research.

Professor Bin Xiangli, Vice President of CAS visited Birmingham to discuss future research opportunities and sign the implementation plan for the new Energy Storage Research Centre.

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering and Physical Sciences welcomed the delegation to the University. Professor Yulong Ding, Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES) and Professor Haisheng Chen, Deputy Director of the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics (IET) of CAS then signed the plan.

Professor Yulong Ding said: “The visit from CAS is a great honour. The University of Birmingham has a longstanding, successful and highly-valued relationship with CAS. Professor Xiangli is the fourth Vice President to visit Birmingham - a testament to the remarkable relationship between our two institutions.

“As the global requirement for energy continues to grow, our collaborative research in the area will help to establish technologies which can efficiently and economically store more energy, as well as balance fluctuating supplies of power on the grid.”

After the signing of the implementation plan, Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) delivered an overview of major BEI activities and outlined the ambitions for the Energy Capital programme, which continues to grow as part of the UK West Midlands region.

Professor Ding gave an in-depth presentation on the work at BCES, highlighting the programmes of work, which have been successfully completed, and describing the impact they have had on the energy landscape.

Delegates had a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities of BCES in both the School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Metallurgy and Materials, before a dinner hosted by a number of CAS alumni now working at the University of Birmingham.

Establishing the energy storage research centre is the latest collaboration between the University and CAS. Birmingham environmental experts are already working on research partnerships with CAS that could help to reduce the health threat posed by severe air pollution blighting the Chinese capital and other major cities in China.

Researchers are also exploring ways in which to combine expertise in chemistry, hydrology, toxicology and biology to solve problems associated with pollutants that are increasingly threatening China’s natural fresh water ecosystems that over 1.3 billion people depend on.

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