Glove box with 2 separate pairs of gloves for working with air-sensitive materials

Lab Mission Statement

The overarching goal of our research lab is to tackle challenges in the current-generation and to foster innovations for next-generation electrochemical energy storage devices and systems. We collaborate with researchers and scientists worldwide in universities, research labs and industries to bring scientific and technological solutions and innovations to the real-world applications. One of the major missions of the lab is to train, mentor and foster undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc students who will become the next-generation leading engineers, researchers, and scientists in the field of energy storage research and development.  

Research Interests 

Our research interests in electrochemical energy storage include primary lithium batteries, rechargeable Li-ion batteries, next-generation Li-ion batteries (Li metal anode, all-solid-sate), beyond Li-ion battery chemistries (Li-sulfur, Li-air), and supercapacitors (symmetric, asymmetric). The scope of our research includes fundamental, material-level studies (electrodes, electrolytes, separators) and integrated, cell-level investigations and optimizations.

Facility and Equipment (see more details in Facilities & Equipment)

The lab is located in Room CM-186 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, SD Mines. The lab is setup to conduct research in electrochemical energy storage. It will be capable of doing analytical and electrochemical fabrication and testing. The work performed in the lab meets applicable federal and state environmental and safety laws and regulations. General capabilities of the lab are listed below:

  • High dispersion (~2,000 RPM) stand homogenizer to mix battery electrode slurry.
  • Benchtop size doctor-blade coater.
  • Roll calendar press that densifies the coated electrodes to their desired thicknesses.
  • Electrode cutter is used to quickly punch out electrode coupons to be used in coin cell fabrication and testing.
  • Coin cell crimper to fabricate coin cells.
  • Multiple channel (80 channels) battery tester (cycler) units. A desktop computer will be used to control and collect data for the battery tester units.
  • Electrochemical impedance spectrometer to analyze battery cell performance.
  • Double sized glove box with two pairs of gloves filled with Ar inert gas, <1ppm O2 and H­2O, for battery cell fabrication and moisture sensitive chemical storage.
  • Temperature chamber capable of -40°C to 200°C with <0.5°C variation. This temperature chamber will be used to test battery performance at various temperatures, including extreme cold and hot temperatures, for different application needs.
  • Fume hood for preparing electrode slurry coatings and handling chemicals.
  • Precision balance with four digits after decimal point is to be used for battery cell fabrication and chemical preparation.
  • Personal protective equipment including gloves, safety glasses, lab coats, etc. is available for lab operators.

Members of ESL closely collaborate with faculties at SD Mines and have access to state-of-art equipment and facilities across campus. Collaborators on campus include the Center for Green Solid-State Electric Power Generation and Storage, and the Composite and Polymer Engineering Laboratory.

  • Lab Members (see more details in Team) 

  • Dr. Weibing Xing (Faculty member)
  • PhD 1995, MS 1990 in Applied Physics, Simon Fraser University. BS 1982 in Physics, Ningxia University.
  • Dr. Xing recently joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota Mines as a Pearson Chair Associate Professor. Prior to SD Mines, he was a Research Fellow at ADA Technologies, Inc. Littleton, CO, for 9 years. Dr. Xing has led 10+ federal funded energy storage programs (a total of ~$7M research funding) as a principle investigator for materials research, device integration and product development. Before ADA, Dr. Xing was a senior scientist at Greatbatch in Clarence, NY, for 8 years, where he developed advanced battery materials for medical applications. Prior to Greatbatch, Dr. Xing was a senior scientist at Electrochem in Raynham, MA, for 5 years, where he developed polymer Li-ion batteries for commercial applications. Prior to industry, Dr. Xing was a postdoctoral research fellow at Simon Fraser University and Dalhousie University in Prof. Jeff Dahn's group, where he developed high energy density materials for Li-ion batteries and a phenomenological model correlating materials' physical properties with electrochemical performance. Dr. Xing has >40 scientific journal publications, >30 granted/pending patents and >30 presentations at scientific/technical conferences. Dr. Xing is a long-time member of The Electrochemical Society.  More details in Team.

  • Dr. Duane Abata (Faculty member)

  • Ph.D. 1977 in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Physics and Chemistry, M.S. 1973, B.S. 1971, University of Wisconsin - Madison.
  • Dr. Abata has worked in academia for over forty years at universities and with the Federal government around the country. He began his career at the University of Wisconsin, served as Associate Dean and Dean at Michigan Technological University and then at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. as program manager in the Engineering Directorate. From 2003 to 2004, Dr. Abata was President of the American Society for Engineering Education. Following his appointment at NSF he served as Dean of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Arizona University and Dean of Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Dr. Abata is currently a tenured full professor in mechanical engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. His research work focuses in the areas of energy storage and combustion.

  • Strauss Langrud (Graduate student)

  • Strauss Langrud graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the same institution. Under the guidance of Dr. Weibing Xing and Dr. Duane Abata, his area of research is Energy Storage with an emphasis on Lithium-sulfur batteries. He hopes to use the knowledge and experience gained and apply them toward the advancement of large scale energy storage. 

  • Andrew Snyder (Graduate student)
  • Andrew Snyder is a Mechanical Engineering graduate student at SD Mines. He first attended SD Mines in the fall of 2016 and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 2020. Now under Dr. Abata and Dr. Xing as his advisors he now seeks to complete his MS in mechanical engineering with a focus on energy storage. The work he will be doing with his advisors will help provide him with knowledge and experience in the area of energy storage and lithium ion batteries. Andrew has interned in the construction business and is also involved in Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity.

Collaborators