UKERC Energy Data Centre: Projects

Projects: Custom Search
UKERC Home >> UKERC Energy Data Centre >> Projects >> Custom Search >> List of Projects Found >> MR/T041412/1
Reference Number MR/T041412/1
Title Sustainable Electrodes for Advanced Flow Batteries
Status Started
Energy Categories OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES (Energy storage) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr A Jorge Sobrido
No email address given
Materials Research Institut
Queen Mary, University of London
Award Type Fellowship
Funding Source UKRI
Start Date 01 February 2021
End Date 31 January 2026
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £1,163,369
Total Project Value £1,163,369
Industrial Sectors
Region London
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr A Jorge Sobrido , Materials Research Institut, Queen Mary, University of London (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Objectives not supplied
Abstract Energy storage is increasingly becoming a topic of great importance worldwide. Wind power and solar energy are promising alternatives to fossil fuels in our aim to decarbonise global energy generation. Total wind power generation capacity is expected to reach 474 GW in 2020. However, unlike fossil fuel-based methods of generating electricity, renewably sourced electricity is now generated discontinuously and current electricity grids are not designed for this type of energy production. Intelligent and flexible energy storage technologies are urgently required to overcome temporal and local deviations in energy production and consumption. Among the electrochemical energy storage alternatives, redox flow batteries (RFBs) are well suited for large-scale energy storage because of their perfect combination of flexible design, long cycle life, high reliability, environmental friendliness and low maintenance. Flow batteries constitute a commercially attractive, viable solution and flexible platform for the UK's energy future. This technology is expected to help stabilise the system, relieving constrained parts of the network and giving homes and businesses the ability to store their own energy. The research programme proposed in this Fellowship application details a plan to develop alternative electrodes for RFBs using sustainable resources. RFBs often employ carbon felts as electrodes, prepared from non-sustainable polyacrylonitrile (PAN), and their activity towards the redox reactions is poor, leading to low efficiency systems. I propose to use electrospinning, a very versatile processing technique that allows for fine control of the features of the materials prepared, to produce a new generation of freestanding electrodes with unique tailored properties that will increase the power density and voltage efficiency of RFBs. The recent dramatic reduction in cost of Li-ion batteries, driven by the automotive sector, has led Li-ion to be considered for large-scale stationary storage also. However, there are several disadvantages to the use of Li-ion technology for this application, and so RFBs are seen as promising long-term solution to grid-scale storage. This research programme will explore in situ and operando techniques, applied for the first time to RFB systems, which can lead a deeper knowledge of the influence of the electrode on the performance of RFBs. Additionally, towards the end of the first four years of the Fellowship, I will utilise my expertise in oxygen electrocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry to explore new hybrid energy systems, i.e. solar flow cells and metal-air flow cells. These are innovative technologies that have the potential to become key in the near future in the search for alternative energy conversion and storage systems with high energy densities. My diverse background of previous work relevant to this Fellowship will place me at the vanguard of the next generation of flow battery developments. The freedom granted by thisFellowship to explore advanced and original aspects in the energy field will assist tremendously to advancing my career and becoming a future leader.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 17/08/22