Multidisciplinary research into linking renewable energy with utilising atmospheric carbon dioxide and with water desalination

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

The applicant is an experienced energy researcher with particular expertise in polymer electrolytes and fuel cell testing using combined d.c. and a.c. electrochemical methods. He has made a major contribution to the establishment of enviable facilities at Surrey for energy research. The anion-exchange ionomers and membranes developed by the applicant have led to a significant increase in the (international) profile of anion-exchange membrane based energy systems. Important breakthroughs include novel alkaline polymers (membranes and ionomers) with high ionic conductivities (some developments deemed highly significant and led to the filing of a Patent). The applicant will use this opportunity to develop a broad range of interrelated disruptive technologies, to establish a focused portfolio of protected intellectual property and to further stimulate team-working between local, national, and international researchers in the associated fields; this is to draw together complimentary strands in disparate areas in a coherent manner where the commonalities are not readily obvious (a step-change move away from research that is targeted on a limited area).The proposed research (managed risk profile) is focused at the highlighted research theme of Energy (renewable generation) and fully addresses the training and supply of skilled people agenda. The background research will be to continue development of novel materials (including polymer electrolyte materials, ionomers and hybrid proton-/anion- membrane systems) for clean energy generation and storage (e.g. fuel cells and redox flow batteries). However, the principal aim of the Fellowship is to extend the above technologies and link them to water technologies and the utilisation of atmospheric CO2 [this latter is highly speculative but will address the grand challenge of utilising CO2 in synthesis and transforming the chemicals industry].The first specific work package will be to investigate low temperature metal-free carbonate-conducting anion-exchange membrane systems: Utilisation of these carbonate-containing AAEMs in fuel cells with hydrogen fuelled anodes and air/CO2 mixed feed cathodes can set up a carbonate cycle, where the CO2 is effectively pumped from the cathode to the anode to form a potentially useful carbon dioxide/hydrogen mixture for chemical synthesis [with concomitant generation of electricity]. This approach has a high impact potential, that is timely due to the only recently developed (by the applicant) high performance anion-exchange ionomeric materials; it is initially aimed at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1 - 4 in the innovation pipeline. The second specific research focus (targeted at TRLs 1 - 5) is to directly link energy technologies (biological and chemical) to water technologies by: (1) extending the biological fuel cell technologies and knowledge being developed in the Supergen programme [led by Surrey] to self powering desalination systems; and (2) by applying current membranes to, and developing new biofouling resistant electrolyte membranes for, reverse electrodialysis systems. The first involves three chamber cells containing both anion- and cation-exchange systems that can be used for desalination of aqueous salt solutions using biological catalysts and organic waste water streams to self power the systems and where the waste water is also treated with potentially zero grid electricity consumption. The second involves reverse electrodialysis where gradients in salinity are directly utilised to generate renewable electricity (i.e. UK electricity potential where river, brackish and sea waters meet).The research will also benefit from already established UK-China collaborations (resulting from an EPSRC funded Interact grant in 2006) and a newly established cross-disciplinary collaboration with the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India.

Planned Impact

A direct output of the proposed programme (4 - 5 year window) will be highly skilled researchers who will have developed multidisciplinary skills and will have experienced a broad range of technological fields that are important to the building of sustainable societies. The above assists towards the assurance of the trained people pipeline needed to service the highly skilled, high technology jobs required by the below industries; the broader energy and environmental sectors are predicted to generate a large number of jobs in the medium - long term. Commercial beneficiaries of the research (wealth generation in 2 - 25 years) will be companies in the UK and worldwide in, or part of the supply chain for, the distributed and centralised energy, water, carbon capture and waste treatment sectors. More specifically, in the 5 - 10 year window, UK industry will directly benefit if the outcomes of the research lead to more developed and focussed academic-industry collaborations (Technology Strategy Board / Knowledge Transfer Partnerships -> Energy Technology Institute / Carbon Trust). On successful commercialisation, society will ultimately benefit (25 - 50 year longer term), as breakthroughs in the proposed technology sectors will have positive impacts on quality of life and energy security. The research programme will introduce a new collaboration with AirFuel Synthesis Ltd, over and above established collaborations associated with the applicant's current research consortia (including Supergen) and programmes. The applicant is well renowned for the development of electrochemical systems containing anion-exchange polymer electrolytes. Further successful advocacy is demonstrated as the applicant's publications, from the above TSB and EPSRC funded research, has led to worldwide interest in the field. The applicant's work on alkaline anion-exchange membranes has already featured in the trade, local and national press as well as EPSRC's Spotlight (Spring 2005) and as a front page news story on the Royal Society of Chemistry's webpage (Feb 2007). For maximum impact, a national workshop encompassing the clean energy and water technologies will be organised and held at Surrey. Academic participants, industrial parties, research councils, TSB, CT, ETI representatives and policymakers will all be invited. This workshop will stimulate new links between the UK's water treatment - clean energy sectors. The results generated from the research will be disseminated at international and UK conferences and meetings, which attract a mixture of participants from academia, government agencies, and industry. The results will also be directly or indirectly fed back into EPSRC funded/managed UK consortia [e.g. Supergen]. Surrey has already started to develop a portfolio of protected IP around alkaline membranes and ionomers. There is already a major effort to produce substantial commercial impact from the research on H2/air anion-exchange membrane fuel cells using a Carbon Trust funding mechanism: A consortium involving Surrey, Imperial College London, and CMR Fuel Cells UK Ltd. has been shortlisted for full proposal submission in this polymer fuel cell challenge with the aim to move the technology from the University Laboratory through to commercialisation. The management of any background and foreground IP will be in consultation with the University's highly successful Research and Enterprise Support Office (see news articles on Surrey Satellite Technology for evidence of excellence). The University of Surrey was awarded a 3.85m Knowledge Transfer Account by the EPSRC, which started on 01 October 2009; the aim is to maximise impact from Surrey's EPSRC-funded research and is especially timely for early research breakthroughs during the proposed Fellowship. Water and Clean Energy are now University of Surrey strategic areas for research and are being well supported (politically and logistically).

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description Anion-exchange membranes with pendant imidazolium groups were found to be less stable than the commonly encountered (benchmark) benzyltrimethylammonium anion-exchange groups (and contrary to many reports in the literature). We are recommending that this avenue should not be pursued for materials for solid alkaline fuel cells or electrolysers. However, this class of anion-exchange membranes will be useful for technologies such as Reverse Electrodialysis.

A big problem with the use of anion-exchange polymer electrolytes and membranes in solid alkaline fuel cells (also known as alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells, APEFC, and alkaline membrane fuel cellss) and solid alkaline electrolysers is that the anion-exchange functionality in the polymer electrolytes is unstable to the hydroxide anions present in such fuel cells. A finding of this grant is that there is a dramatic increase in stability of quaternary ammonium anion-exchange groups in anion-exchange membranes when an alkyloxy spacer chain is located between the ammonium group and the benzene ring. This involved a collaborative effort involving the PI and postdoc on this grant (as well as the postdoc on grant EP/H025340/1) and Prof Xu's team in the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, P. R. China). This concept is now being taken forward as part of EPSRC grant EP/M005933/1 (Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Alkaline Electrolysers: 2014 - 2017) and grant EP/M014371/1 (Fuel Cell Technologies for an Ammonia Economy: 2015 - 2019) in order to develop highly alkaline stable radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes containing these spacer groups.

Progress has been made (along with advice from a commercial polymer material company) regarding the radiation-grafting onto polymer powders rather than polymer films: this is to produce soluble anion-exchange polymer electrolytes (anion-exchange ionomers) to be incorporated into the catalytic electrodes of electrochemical energy devices. This has now been partially achieved but: (1) the high ion-exchange examples could not be made soluble; and (2) soluble versions were produced but the ion-exchange capacities were low and the materials were only soluble in expensive fluorobenzene solvents at temperatures more than 185 degrees Celsius. This concept is now being taken forward as part of EPSRC grants EP/M005933/1 and EP/M014371/1 along with newer commercial base polymer powders to see if anion-exchange ionomers can be produced with more common solvents and at lower temperatures (especially room temperature).

A series of radiation-grafted cation-exchange membranes for Reverse Electrodialysis Cells (Salinity Gradient Power) were also developed. A new multi-university EPSRC proposal is currently being formulated for the continued development of these and new electrolyte membranes (both cation- and anion-exchange) for a substantial research project in Reverse Electrodialysis.

It was also found that the radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes produced have exceptionally high ionic conductivities of 0.1 Siemens per centimetre or higher (in atmospheres of relative humidity of more than 85%) and this is due to the previously unknown phase segregated morphology exhibited by these membranes and that the membranes' ionic pathways are very straight (tortuosity values close to 1). A major conclusion of this grant is that radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes can have very high conductivities (contrary to prior wisdom) in many ion forms and that they solve one of the two major problems with the application of anion-exchange membranes in alkaline electrochemical technologies (the other major problem where more progress is required is the alkaline stability problem discussed above).

The anion-exchange polymer electrolyte materials being produced have also been tested in polymer-based electrolysers for electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to added value chemicals: this was achieved as part of a collaboration with the University of Connecticut (USA) [publications will result].

Other findings include:
Advanced development of techniques for the routine characterisation of ion-exchange membranes for electrochemical energy technologies including: ion-exchange capacity titrations, ionic conductivities, permselectivities, and Raman microscopy (this experience was important regarding the development of an EPSRC Equipment project for a SE Regional Raman Microscopy Facility to be hosted in the Department of Chemistry, University of Surrey [EPSRC EP/M022749/1 - Twitter #SurreyRaman]).
We have also developed the capability of synthesising inorganic oxides for use as electrocatalysts in alkaline media.
Exploitation Route The finding will be useful to both academic and non-academic researchers with interests in highly conductive anion-exchange polymer electrolytes that will be used in technologies involving alkaline and non-alkaline environments.
Sectors Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment

 
Description No tangible impacts to date (beyond an increase in knowledge and understanding) but the major developments in this project, regarding highly ionically conductive alkaline stable anion-exchange membranes and ionomers, are being taken forward as part of EPSRC grant EP/M005933/1 (Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Alkaline Electrolysers: 2014 - 2017) and grant EP/M014371/1 (Fuel Cell Technologies for an Ammonia Economy: 2015 - 2019).
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment
 
Description Fuel Cell Technologies for an Ammonia Economy (Supergen H2 and Fuel Cell Challenge Call)
Amount £381,469 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M014371/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2019
 
Description High Spec Raman Spectrometer Regional Facility (Equipment Business Case)
Amount £350,780 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M022749/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2015 
End 08/2018
 
Description IBTI CLUB AWARD: A study of metagenomics-informed biochemical functionality of microbial fuel cells using DDGS as a substrate
Amount £616,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/J01916X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 10/2015
 
Description Journal Grant for International Authors: John Varcoe to visit collaborator at Wuhan University (P R China)
Amount £1,956 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Society of Chemistry 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 05/2014
 
Description Multidisciplinary research into linking renewable energy with utilising atmospheric carbon dioxide and with water desalination
Amount £232,943 (GBP)
Funding ID Add-on to EP/I004882/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2014
 
Description REDAEM: Anion-Exchange Membranes for Reverse Electrodialysis
Amount £779,015 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R044163/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Alkaline Electrolysers.
Amount £353,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M005933/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2014 
End 12/2017
 
Description Collaboration with Cellera (Israel-based alkaline membrane fuel cell company) 
Organisation CellEra
Country Israel 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Cellera has supplied electrode samples for testing at Surrey Surrey has supplied anion-exchange membranes and polymer powders for testing at Cellera
Collaborator Contribution CellEra is undertaking extensive fuel cell testing of Surrey membranes and dispersible ionomers.
Impact Joint publications envisaged. In discussions regarding EU funding opportunities (along with Next Energy and DLR in Germany)
Start Year 2013
 
Description Collaboration with Ruhr Universitat (Bochum, Germany) 
Organisation Ruhr University Bochum
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have supplied some anion-exchange membranes to be evaluated in their electrolyser systems. We are to test their alkaline solid electrolytes in our fuel cell systems.
Collaborator Contribution Testing of Surrey membranes in small alkaline electrolyser systems. Supply of solid alkaline electrolytes for evaluation in Surrey fuel cell test stations.
Impact None so far, but we are looking at a joint paper or two. We are also discussing possible joint EU project opportunities.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with Universidad Autónoma de Madrid  
Organisation Autonomous University of Madrid
Department Department of Applied Physical Chemistry
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosted UAM students and postdocs for joint reserch projects at Surrey.
Collaborator Contribution Paid for some of the costs for student and postdoc visits to Surrey.
Impact A. L. Gonçalves Biancolli, D. Herranz, L. Wang, G. Stehlikova, R. Bance-Soualhi, J. Ponce-Gonzalez, P. Ocon, E. A. Ticianelli, D. K. Whelligan, J. R. Varcoe, E. I. Santiago, "ETFE-based anion-exchange membrane ionomer powders for alkaline membrane fuel cells: a first performance comparison of head-group chemistry", J. Mater. Chem. A, 6, 24330 (2018). L. Wang, E. Magliocca, E. L. Cunningham, W. E. Mustain, S. D. Poynton, R. Escudero-Cid, M. M. Nasef, J. Ponce-Gonzalez, R. Bance-Souahli, R. C. T. Slade, D. K. Whelligan, J. R. Varcoe, "An optimised synthesis of high performance radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Green Chem., 19, 831-843 (2017). S. D. Poynton, R. C. T. Slade, T. Omasta, W. E. Mustain, R. Escudero Cid, P. Ocón, J. R. Varcoe, "Preparation of radiation-grafted powders for use as anion exchange ionomers in alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells", J. Mater. Chem. A, 2, 5124 (2014).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with Wuhan University 
Organisation Wuhan University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supplied polymer electrolyte membranes and powders to Wuhan University for testing in their fuel cell systems with their ionomers.
Collaborator Contribution Testing Surrey membranes in their alkaline fuel cell systems. Obtained Chinese funding to allow John Varcoe (Fellow) to visit Wuhan in 2015.
Impact J. Ponce-Gonzalez, D. K. Whelligan, L. Wang, R. Bance-Soualhi, Y. Wang, Y. Peng, H. Peng, D. C. Apperley, H. N. Sarode, T. P. Pandey, A. G. Divekar, S. Seifert, A. M. Herring, L. Zhuang, J. R. Varcoe, "High performance aliphatic-heterocyclic benzyl-quaternary ammonium radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Energy Environ. Sci., 9, 3724 (2016). J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang, "Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems", Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 3135 (2014).
Start Year 2013
 
Description Collaboration with the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) 
Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology
Department Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint EPSRC grant awarded (EP/R044163/1). Supply of Surrey materials expected in 2019-2021
Collaborator Contribution To test Surrey materials in reverse electrodialysis. This group formally at University of Twente.
Impact J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang, "Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems", Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 3135 (2014). Joint EPSRC grant awarded (EP/R044163/1 ): REDAEM: Anion-Exchange Membranes for Reverse Electrodialysis (Duration Oct 2018 - Sept 2021 Value £430k to Surrey): A 3-partner consortium led by Surrey. Joint papers planned.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with the General Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Beijing, China) 
Organisation General Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (GRINM)
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Signed an intent to collaborate with the General Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Beijing, China) on 18/10/2013. Includes an exchange of Surrey membranes for GRINM catalysts.
Collaborator Contribution Supplied catalyst to Surrey for evaluation.
Impact Joint paper: D. Jiang, R. Zeng, S. Wang, L. Jiang, J. R. Varcoe, "Paradox phenomena of proton exchange membrane fuel cells operating under dead-end anode mode", J. Power Sources, 265, 45 (2014).
Start Year 2013
 
Description Colloboration with Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO, USA) 
Organisation Colorado School of Mines
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Membrane supply and CSM conducting experiments on membranes
Collaborator Contribution Extensive specialist testing of Surrey membranes and ionomers (DSC, dielectric, IR microscopy, SAXS, specialist NMR)
Impact Joint papers: J. Ponce-Gonzalez, D. K. Whelligan, L. Wang, R. Bance-Soualhi, Y. Wang, Y. Peng, H. Peng, D. C. Apperley, H. N. Sarode, T. P. Pandey, A. G. Divekar, S. Seifert, A. M. Herring, L. Zhuang, J. R. Varcoe, "High performance aliphatic-heterocyclic benzyl-quaternary ammonium radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Energy Environ. Sci., 9, 3724 (2016). M. A. Vandiver, B. R. Caire, J. R. Carver, K. Waldrop, M. R. Hibbs, J. R. Varcoe, A. M. Herring, M. W. Liberatore, "Mechanical characterization of anion exchange membranes by extensional rheology under controlled hydration", J. Electrochem. Soc., 161, H677 (2014). J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang, "Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems", Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 3135 (2014). T. P. Pandey, A. M. Maes, H. N. Sarode, B. D Peters, S. Lavinia, Ki Vezzu, Y. Yang, S. Poynton, J. R. Varcoe, S. Seifert, M. Liberatore, V. Di Noto, A. Herring, "Interplay between water uptake, ion interactions, and conductivity in an e-beam grafted poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) anion exchange membrane", Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17, 4367 (2015).
Start Year 2011
 
Description University of Surrey - University of Connecticut (USA) 
Organisation University of Connecticut
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development of low temperature carbonate fuel cells containing anion-exchange membranes. Materials exchange; Planned future researcher exchange; Testing UConn catalysts in Surrey fuel cell systems
Collaborator Contribution Testing of Surrey materials in fuel cells and electrochemical devices for the electroreduction of carbon dioxide.
Impact Prof Mustain (lead collaborator at the University of Connecticut) has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and will be working at Surrey for 4 months in 2016. L. Wang, E. Magliocca, E. L. Cunningham, W. E. Mustain, S. D. Poynton, R. Escudero-Cid, M. M. Nasef, J. Ponce-Gonzalez, R. Bance-Souahli, R. C. T. Slade, D. K. Whelligan, J. R. Varcoe, "An optimised synthesis of high performance radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Green Chem., 19, 831-843 (2017). J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang, "Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems", Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 3135 (2014).
Start Year 2011
 
Description University of Surrey - University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, PR China) 
Organisation University of Science and Technology of China USTC
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing new membrane chemistries for alkaline anion-exchange membrane fuel cells. Exchange of materials. Testing of USTC Hefei membranes in Surrey Fuel Cell Test Stations
Collaborator Contribution Supply of USTC Hefei membranes to test in Surrey Fuel Cell Test Stations
Impact NSFC joint grant awarded (NSFC grant 21720102003). Joint papers published: L. Wu, Q. Pan, J. R. Varcoe, D. Zhou, J. Ran, Z. Yang, T. Xu, "Thermal Crosslinking of an Alkaline Anion Exchange Membrane Bearing Unsaturated Side Chains", J. Membr. Sci., 490, 1 (2015). Y. Zhu, L. Ding, X. Liang, M. A. Shehzad, L. Wang, X. Ge, Y. He, L. Wu, J. R. Varcoe, T. Xu, "Beneficial use of rotatable-spacer side-chains in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells" Energy Environ. Sci., 11, 3472 (2018). X. Lin, X. Liang, S. D. Poynton, J. R. Varcoe, A. Ong, J. Ran, Y. Li, Q. Li, T. Xu, "Alkaline anion exchange membranes containing pendant benzimidazolium groups for alkaline fuel cells", J. Membr. Sci., 443, 193 (2013). X. Lin, J. R. Varcoe, S. D. Poynton, X. Liang, A. Ong, J. Ran, Y. Li, T. Xu, "Alkaline polymer electrolytes containing pendant dimethylimidazolium groups for alkaline membrane fuel cells", J. Mater. Chem. A, 1, 7262 (2013). X. Lin, Y. Liu, S. D. Poynton, A. Ong, J. R. Varcoe, L. Wu, Y. Li, X. Liang, Q. Li, T. Xu, "Cross-linked anion exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells synthesized using a solvent free strategy", J. Power Sources, 233, 259 (2013). Z. Zhang, L. Wu, J. Varcoe, C. Li, A. Ong, S. Poynton, T. Xu, "Aromatic polyelectrolytes via polyacylation of pre-quaternized monomers for alkaline fuel cells.", J. Mater. Chem. A, 1, 2595 (2013). X. Lin, L. Wu, Y. Liu, A. L. Ong, S. D. Poynton, J. R. Varcoe, T. Xu, "Alkali resistant and conductive guanidinium-based anion-exchange membranes for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells", J. Power Sources, 217, 373 (2012). J. Ran, L. Wu, J. R. Varcoe, A. L. Ong, S. D. Poynton, T. Xu, "Development of imidazolium-type alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cell application", J. Membr. Sci., 415-416, 242 (2012). Y. Wu, C. Wu, J. R. Varcoe, S. D. Poynton, T. Xu, Y. Fu, "Novel silica/poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) hybrid anion exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells: effect of silica content and the single cell performance", J. Power Sources, 195, 3069 (2010).
Start Year 2010
 
Description University of Surrey - University of Stuttgart 
Organisation University of Stuttgart
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Materials exchange Paid for John Varcoe's fliight and hotel to visit Uni Stuttgart Anika Katfuss visit to Surrey to test her materials in our lab (19-23 March 2012)
Collaborator Contribution Supply of materials to Surrey (ion-exchange membranes).
Impact Joint paper published: A. Katzfuss, S. D. Poynton, J. R. Varcoe, V. Gogel, U. Storr, J. Kerres, "Methylated polybenzimidazole and its application as a blend component in covalently cross-linked anion-exchange membranes for DMFC", J. Membr. Sci., 465, 129 (2014).
Start Year 2011
 
Description Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk given at the Department of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut 24 May 2012.

More deeper collaboration between Surrey and UConn
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Prentation to University of Newcastle departmental colloquia (Chemical and Process Engineering).

Working towards a future grant (funded - EP/M005933/1 - Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Alkaline Electrolysers - Duration 08/12/2014 - 07/12/2017 Value £353k (80% FEC).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Hosted Workshop: Anion-exchange membranes for energy generation technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PI organised a workshop (with invited delegates) on 25 - 26th July 2013 [hosted at the University of Surrey] to discuss anion-exchange membranes in various clean water and energy generation technologies. The funding was provided by: The UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC grants EP/I004882/1 and EP/H025340/1), the University of Surrey's Institute of Advanced Studies, the Research Council UK's Energy Programme's Supergen Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Hub (EPSRC grant EP/J016454/1), the Royal Society of Chemistry (Energy and Environmental Science), Caltest Instruments Ltd. (UK), Alvatek Ltd. (UK), Solartron Analytical UK (Ametek), and Prof Andrew Herring (Colorado School of Mines).

Since 2003, the Department of Chemistry, University of Surrey has been looking at anion-exchange membrane in electrochemical energy technologies. To mark the 10th year of these efforts, Surrey hosted a 2 day workshop to establish a consensus of the state-of-the-art. Select and renowned researchers from around the world [industrial and academic] were invited to participate. The workshop will also look at suitable next steps along with establishing new international collaborations in the field.

An invited 56 page review published:

J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang,
"Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems",
Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 3135 (2014)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/membranes/report.php
 
Description Ion-Exchange Membranes for Electrochemcial Clean Energy Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk on clean energy systems to students at Brookhaven College (DCCC) in Dallas, TX on 7th Nov 2013.

International Outreach

To highlight the quality of UK HE.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Latest developments in radiation-grafted anion-exchange polymer electrolytes for application in alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells (CARISMA 2014, Cape Town) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talked sparked Q&A.

This talk let to the discussions that led to the work on Muons and SANS (at ISIS, RAL, UK).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.carisma2014.com/
 
Description Membranes for electrochemcial clean energy: The latest development at Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Invited talk (travel paid for by hosts) at the General Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Beijing China) 18 Oct 2013.

A joint paper (more planned).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Overview of UK Energy Landscape 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation given twice at Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University (Bangkok, Thailand).

To highlight the quality of UK Science and Energy Research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Radiation-Grafted Anion-Exchange Polymer Electrolytes for Clean Energy Applications (Invited Lecture - Electrochemical Society Meeting Glasgow July 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk sparked Q&A.

Increased international awareness of current EPSRC programmes: EP/M014371/1 Fuel Cell Technologies for an Ammonia Economy, EP/M005933/1 Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Alkaline Electrolysers, and EP/M022749/1 High Spec Raman Spectrometer Regional Facility.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.electrochem.org/meetings/satellite/glasgow/speakers/
 
Description Radiation-grafted polymer electrolyte materials for electrochemical energy technologies (18th Chinese Electrochemical Society Meeting) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions.

Possible UK-China joint applications to the Royal Society International Exchange Scheme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Radiation-grafted polymer electrolyte materials for electrochemical energy technologies (invited departmental colloquia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk sparked Q&A

None to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Radiation-grafted polymer electrolytes for electrochemical energy technologies (Invited Talk - 7th International Fuel Cell Workshop, Kofu Japan) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk sparked Q&A.

Nothing to date.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://fc-nano.yamanashi.ac.jp/english/ifcw/index2015.html
 
Description Radiation-grafted polymer electrolytes for electrochemical energy technologies (invited Talk EMEA 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Involved in expert panel session and presented a talk. Stimulated Q&A

Invited back to give a follow up talk in EMEA 2016. Also invited to be a guest editor of a special journal edition for the outputs of the EMEA 2016 meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.next-energy.de/emea2015.html
 
Description Talk at Simon Fraser University Aug 2014: Anion-exchange polymer electrolytse research ay Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk of Surrey's latest research into alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

Discussions on the future exchange of materials.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Wuhan Uni Talk April 2014: Anion-exchange polymer electrolyte research at Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk at Wuhan University on Surrey's research and Wuhan-Surrey joint work to date (as part of declared collaboration).

Joint publications envisaged.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014