Division of Chemical Engineering and Renewable Energy
Research within the Division is focused on the following themes:
- Electroactive nanostructured materials for energy conversion & storage
- Sustainable energy generation using nanostructured functional materials
- Sustainable Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) materials for energy conversion and storage
- Soft matter and porous materials for sustainable energy engineering applications
Dr Ana Jorge Sobrido's research focuses on developing new electroactive nanostructured materials for energy conversion & storage technologies, including PEM fuel cells, PEM water electrolysers, metal-air batteries, redox flow batteries and photocatalytic water splitting. The high cost of noble metal catalysts employed is one of the major drawbacks to their full development and exploitation. Our group aims to design highly efficient and stable low-cost electrocatalyst and photocatalyst materials through a careful understanding of structure-property relationships.
Dr Joe Briscoe's research is focussed on investigating a range of new materials, structures and material combinations for use in nanostructured, low-cost photovoltaics and photocatalysis. This includes earth-abundant and biomass-derived (renewable) materials, oxide-based devices, hybrid organic-inorganic lead-halide perovskites and dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC). He is also continuing to develop ZnO nanorod-based energy harvesters (nanogenerators) including exploring commercial applications.
Dr Edo Boek's research is focused on sustainable energy engineering, soft matter, flow and transport of complex fluids in porous materials, multi-scale imaging and simulation. I investigate how the macroscopic behaviour of complex systems emerges from the underlying microscopic behaviour. My research includes multi-phase and reactive flow in porous media, emulsions, clean fossil fuels, CO2 storage, clay swelling, crystal growth, wormlike micellar fluids and asphaltene aggregation / deposition. Current applications are in the areas of renewable energy, battery design, fuel cells and supercapacitors. In particular, I am interested in the design and optimisation of novel carbon fiber / slurry electrodes for electrochemical devices, including Redox Flow Batteries, Electrolysers ans Fuel Cells, using combined synthesis, pore scale imaging and reactive multi-phase flow modelling. I develop both experimental and computational methods for my research. Experimental methods include micro-fluidics, (confocal) microscopy, rheology and X-ray micro-tomography. Computer simulation methods include lattice-Boltzmann, Multi-Particle Collision Dynamics, and Molecular Dynamics.