Loraine Torres-Castro


Loraine Torres-Castro

Physicist, Battery Safety Lead

Contact Information

Loraine Torres-Castro / (505) 377-5492


Loraine joined Sandia in 2016 to conduct research and development into the safety and reliability of batteries under abusive conditions. The abuse testing work Loraine conducts evaluates batteries well outside of manufacturer recommended specifications and the severity of any catastrophic thermal runaway. Her work in the Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms that lead to energy storage system safety incidents, and developing mitigation strategies for single-cell and system failures. Loraine has innovated abuse testing by targeting problems using a predictive approach (early detection for intervention) to eliminate failure rather than reacting to it. Her work has led to developments on advanced abuse testing, including a fundamental understanding of cell failure to facilitate the design of safer energy storage systems. Her expertise and commitment to safety science have led to multiple cross-collaborations among sponsoring organizations, including the Department of Energy (Office of Electricity and the Vehicle Technologies Office), Department of Transportation, and NASA. On behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office, her team developed and maintains the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) Battery Abuse Testing Manual, widely used by car manufacturers to evaluate new technologies. Loraine is also a member of the USABC, for which she provides technical advice and recommendations. She is recognized as a battery safety expert, as demonstrated by invited talks and high visibility of peer-reviewed publications. In addition, Loraine actively mentors underrepresented groups on energy storage challenges and professional leadership both in English and Spanish at the University of Puerto Rico, her alma mater.


Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, 2016

B.S. in Physics, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, 2010

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Loraine Torres-Castro

Key Publications

A. Kumar, R. Nazzario, L. Torres-Castro, A. Pena-Duarte, M.S. Tomar “Electrochemical properties of MgO-coated 0.5Li2MnO3-0.5LiNi0.5Mn0.5O2 composite cathode material for lithium ion battery” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol 40, Issue 14, 20 April 2015, pp 4931-4935, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.01.104.

Q. Li, C. Yang, S. Santhanagopalan, K. Smith, J. Lamb, L. Steele, L. Torres-Castro “Numerical investigation of thermal runaway mitigation through a passive thermal management system” Journal of Power Sources, Vol 429, 31 July 2019, pp 80-88 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.04.091.

L. Torres-Castro, J. Shojan, C. Julien, A. Hug, C. Dhital, M. Paranthaman, R. Katiyar, A. Manivannan “Synthesis, characterization and electrochemical performance of Al-substituted Li2MnO3” Materials Science and Engineering: B, Vol 201, 2015, pp 13-22, DOI 10.1016/j.mseb.2015.07.006.

H. Barkholtz, Y. Preger, S. Ivanov, J. Langendorf, L. Torres-Castro, J. Lamb, B. Chalamala, F. Ferreira “Multi-scale thermal stability study of commercial lithium-ion batteries as a function of cathode chemistry and state-of-charge” Journal of Power Sources, Vol 435, 2019, 226777,DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.226777.

L. Torres-Castro, A. Kurzawski, J. Hewson, J. Lamb “Passive mitigation of cascading propagation in multi-cell lithium ion batteries” 2020 J. Electrochem. Soc. 167 090515, DOI: 10.1149/1945-7111/ab84fa.