Advanced Clean Energy program: Battery energy storage

Canada possesses all the right resources for lithium, cobalt and nickel battery components. There is significant potential to ramp up production in order to develop a domestic battery industry that produces and exports battery materials and technologies from primary, secondary and tertiary sources.

The Battery energy storage pillar of the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Advanced Clean Energy program works with collaborators to develop next-generation energy storage materials and devices. By deploying our expertise in battery metals, materials, recycling and safety, we are enabling sustainability in batteries for consumer electronics and fostering the development of the electric vehicle industry in Canada.



We offer clients access to world-class competencies and unique and specialized facilities conveniently located at NRC sites across the country.

Battery metals production and processing technologies

  • Canadian-specific materials such as lithium, lithium brine, nickel and cobalt salts
  • co-production/processing of vanadium electrolytes with minimal impurities
  • natural flake graphite for use in battery anodes and cathodes

Battery materials and components

  • development of new membranes/separators, investigation of cathode-electrolyte interfaces, and battery management systems
  • evaluation and improvement of battery properties such as capacity retention, cyclic stability, specific capacity and current density, and rate performance
  • wet lithium cells, flow batteries, next-generation solid-state battery technologies

Battery recycling, state of health and state of charge

  • improving the ability to understand the state of health of consumer and electric vehicle batteries, to determine if the cell should be reused in alternate applications such as stationary storage or backup, remanufactured into a new pack or module, or sent for large-scale recycling
  • assisting in the development of standards related to the shipment of end-of-life cells, and improvement and optimization of battery recycling processes themselves

Battery safety and performance testing

  • modelling and experimentation to identify high-risk failure scenarios for testing the safety of lithium-ion cells
  • thermal abuse testing
  • early detection for lithium-ion batteries' thermal runaway based on gas sensing
  • experimental studies on suppression of fire and explosion of lithium iron phosphate batteries by inert gas amongst others 

Research facilities

Collaborators have access to a wide range of facilities that can be used to perform component-level validation, manufacturability assessment and improvements, materials evaluation and development, and accelerated testing. The following facilities are available in the NRC's national labs in Vancouver, Ottawa, Boucherville and Edmonton: