The department is active in energy storage technologies, focusing on new chemistries and materials that can offer improved performance for a range of applications.
Research is exploring how new chemistries and materials can improve on the state-of-the-art electrochemical energy storage. Ongoing research includes, among other projects, novel two-dimensional materials as electrodes for supercapacitors and novel electrodes for large scale flow batteries.
Novel electrodes for large scale flow battery energy storage devices
An important challenge in energy management is the timely delivery of power at the point of consumption, regardless of external factors such as availability of primary resources. As a result, energy storage is an important focus of energy research.
This project investigates the design and optimisation of flow battery based Energy Storage Systems, incorporating a fluidised bed of microparticles. These systems will be capable of producing a highly electronically conductive electrode such that resistive losses during charging and discharging are minimised (high efficiency cell), producing sufficiently high mass transport of species during charging and discharging to support the reactions and having a very high specific surface area based on the particles alone giving a very high volumetric energy density. The project incorporates both simulation and theoretical modelling as well as an extensive experimental element.
Two-dimensional materials for high-capacity energy storage
MXenes, two-dimensional materials that result from the exfoliation of parent MAX phases, have shown remarkable features, making them attractive for a number of applications. We are currently synthesising and modifying MXenes for energy storage applications, especially for use as supercapacitor electrode materials.
MXenes are recent two-dimensional layered materials that result from the exfoliation of one of the phases in parent MAX phase materials. MXenes have so far shown a number of very interesting features, and they have shown to be excellent materials for electrodes in batteries and supercapacitors. We are currently synthesising, characterising and modifying MXenes for uses in energy storage, and tune their properties for improved performance. One of the particular areas we are looking at is to modify MXenes so that we can obtain higher capacitances, which will be useful for use as supercapacitor electrode materials.