This one-year project (from April 2021) is being funded under the COP26 Trilateral Research initiative, which is supporting four research collaborations between universities in the UK, Japan, and ASEAN countries to address various aspects of climate change. This research partnership is working to develop lead-free solder that can withstand high temperatures, for use in electric vehicles and other harsh environments such as the generation of solar power. It also aims to promote awareness of climate and environmental challenges in Malaysia through workshops on green transport for industry and the public.
- Transportation is one of the principal emitting sectors in countries around the world, so electric vehicles are key to emissions reduction.
- Lead-free solder materials are needed to replace the traditional toxic lead solders used to connect their components. However, the high operating temperatures in electric transport and other power-electronics mean that existing solders are not resilient.
- If efficient engineering methods to manufacture such solders can be developed and adopted globally, there would be a significant environmental impact since doubling a product’s lifetime roughly halves manufacturing and recycling costs and energy use.
Contributing to climate action
The research team are working with companies manufacturing solders to ensure that the new solders meet their requirements. A webinar on green electronics for electric vehicle manufacturing has also been held, attracting almost 190 participants, mainly from Malaysian higher education, government, and industry. It is planned to hold another wrap-up seminar at the end of the project.
This knowledge-sharing will help to ensure that the technology developed is adopted by industry, contributing to emissions reductions.
Reinforcing COP26 priorities
The development and adoption by industry of a reliable lead-free solder for use in electric vehicles will contribute directly to CO2 emissions reduction, as well as avoiding the environmental damage caused by lead.
Liverpool John Moores University (UK), Gunma University (Japan), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Malaysia)
Why the British Council?
The British Council has longstanding relationships with the higher education sector and policymakers in each of the participating countries, enabling us to run a research call and support the grant recipients in disseminating their findings.