Better batteries for
a better world

The focus of research into batteries has undergone a shift from the blue-sky technologies of portable electronics and wearables to improving lithium-ion battery performance.

Stephanie Moroz says this is good news for the future of electric vehicles and energy storage.

For accomplished entrepreneur and UQ alumnus Stephanie Moroz (Master of Business ’16) the decision to pursue a career in developing energy technologies came down to her determination to, ultimately, make the world a better place.

The Canadian-born engineer is the Chief Executive Officer of Sunshine Coast startup company Nano-Nouvelle. The young company is pioneering new-generation lithium-ion batteries that weigh less and store as much as 50 per cent more energy than existing technology.

“I’ve always been very excited about energy, both for how it can transform lives, especially the way it can improve life for people in developing countries as they gain access to electricity, and also the impact of energy systems on our environment,” said Ms Moroz.

“All of my jobs have been pointed towards energy solutions and improving energy efficiency, and I’ve tried to put my heart and soul into it.”

The light new batteries developed by Nano-Nouvelle will give us longer-lasting phone batteries, will mean electric cars and drones will be able to travel further and stay on the move for longer and offer clear benefits for the storage of renewable energies, both in households and at the larger scale for sources like solar, wind and tidal energy.

“Batteries are not going to replace power stations or the internal combustion engine but they will provide an alternative source of power,” said Ms Moroz.

Nano-Nouvelle is making waves in the innovation community, named one of the ‘Top 50 Tech Pioneers in Australia and New Zealand’ in 2016 by H2 Ventures for its work on batteries, and Ms Moroz personally claimed the title of one of ‘Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers’ by Engineers Australia in 2016.

Nano-Nouvelle’s batteries are unique because of a 3D nano-porous conductive membrane they have developed for use as a current collector for lithium-ion batteries.

“We’re changing the structure of the current collector to be highly porous, providing advantages in performance, assembly cost and weight of the battery. The current collector can also be used as a support for high energy active materials that will further increase the energy and reduce the weight of the battery.

“We’ve made many changes to the existing technology and there are many benefits to the performance.”

"If science was language, engineering would be literature.

I had always enjoyed maths and science, but creatively applying that knowledge to make changes in the world had a much greater appeal than pure discovery."

Stephanie Moroz, CEO Nano-Nouvelle