ISCF Wave 1: Materials research hub for energy conversion, capture, and storage

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

Realising a secure, low-carbon energy future depends upon integrating variable generation into the energy system at a large scale, as well as efficiently harvesting renewable energy. Electrochemical and photoelectrical conversion devices are critical to this goal. The fundamental phenomenon that controls how all such devices perform is charge transport, both through and between materials. The Materials Research Hub for Energy Capture, Conversion, and Storage (M-RHECCS) sets out to advance understanding of the structure/function relations that control charge transport in energy materials, forging general principles that govern charge mobility and exchange. By so doing we will lay a foundation for the informed design of next-generation energy materials.

Prior efforts at this scale have built teams centred on isolated technologies. Our vision is more integrated, recognizing that electronic, ionic, and mixed conductors form the operational cores of solar cells, fuel cells, batteries, capacitors, and electrolysers. Impressive advances have been made to face some challenges, delivering innovative processes, analytical techniques, and computational models, but poor integration between application areas restricts progress. M-RHECCS brings together world-leading experts across materials disciplines and energy technologies to form a new network, encouraging unorthodox thinking to spark transformative science. The M-RHECCS will connect experimentalists and theorists across disciplines to advance the basic science of charge mobility. Team members will also examine challenges in translating new science into manufacture and application.

To ensure impact we propose to focus on 1) breaking the paradigm of 'power or energy' by making porous electrodes and porous or microstructured composites that produce power and energy, 2) structure/function relations that govern charge mobility in mixed ion/electron conductors (MIECs) and ultimately control the performance and stability of MIEC-based electrodes and active media and 3) elucidating transport modes in unconventional ion conducting polymers and ceramics. Porous electrodes and microstructured composites are used in almost all electrochemical devices and in new types of solar cell. We shall investigate how pore size, structure, and order influence power and energy density in electrochemical systems, how microstructure influences current generation and efficiency in solar cells, and how to optimise both. Single-phase MIECs are found in electrodes and active layers of hybrid solar cells, as well as electrodes in fuel cells, electrolysers, and Li-ion batteries. Optical, electrical, and electrochemical measurements, and self-consistent simulation, will combine to elucidate factors that control charge mobility and the critical issue of stability. Ion-conducting polymers and ceramics are core to fuel cells and electrolysers, and solid Li+ conductors could enable all-solid-state batteries, but high conductivity and suitable mechanical properties must be achieved. We aim to learn what material features control ion transport to pave the way for designing innovative conductors.

M-RHECCS will also research the translation of advances in porous electrodes, MIECs and ion-exchange materials into scaleable materials and devices. We will assess the value of better charge-transport materials to power generation via detailed analysis of operational data from actual building-integrated solar generation/storage systems . Engagement with our many industrial partners will maximise our work's impact.

The M-RHECCS will pull together not only the energy materials researchers across our five partner institutions but also network stakeholders with cognate interests across the UK, in academia, industry, government, and beyond. We will engage with international leaders in charge-transport materials, inviting them to visit the Hub and the UK more widely and take part in M-RHECCS organised networking events.

Planned Impact

The Materials Research Hub for Energy Capture, Conversion, and Storage will raise the UK's already high international profile in the field of energy materials, through the dissemination of high-quality journal publications and presentations, social media, networking efforts. An Advisory Board including key players from industry, academia, and government will provide a close eye on the practical relevance of the research Hub's fundamental scientific efforts.

Academic impact will include publications in top chemistry/materials (Science, Nature family, etc.) and engineering/device (J. Power Sources) journals, as well as imparting the postdoctoral training urgently needed by the growing UK industrial base in energy. We will engage relevant Centres for Doctoral Training as well as a large pool of PhD students across our five institutions and beyond.

M-RHECCS will engage national engineering and scientific bodies in events, workshops and conferences. Our coordinated approach will engage existing consortia headed by Hub participants and supported by the EPSRC, the STFC, the Grantham Institute, and the EU, among others. The Hub will also work closely with the other two centres funded through this call, and with the existing portfolio of relevant networks, in particular the SUPERGEN Hubs in energy storage, fuel cells and hydrogen, and solar.

There will be a strong commitment to public engagement and outreach activities, which is evident in our previous record in invited public talks and media engagement. We will reach out internationally through invited lectures at international conferences, hosting international visitors, and by engaging through the FCO and UKTI. Here we note that we will build on the strong international links that the partners already enjoy, with collaborations across Europe, North America, and Asia.

We will leverage existing strong links to inform and respond to government policy. We will complement and feed into UK national roadmaps for innovation set out by EPSRC, InnovateUK, and the SPECIFIC IKC. Activities to inform policy makers, industry and the public will impact public understanding of energy materials, contributing to policy debates and public engagement. Oversight by an Advisory Board including key stakeholders from industry will drive collaborative industry/academic R&D.

We anticipate the Hub effort to result in significant IP generation, since many key participants have track records protecting and exploiting IP through patents and spin-out companies alongside their outstanding publication records. M-RHECCS includes WMG and Swansea, institutions with facilities available to incorporate advanced materials in real supercapacitors, batteries, and solar conversion devices.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Conference - 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Parameterizing Large-Format Prismatic Lithium-Ion Cells with Lock-In Thermography," 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, September 4th 2018, Bologna, Italy. Disseminating research findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference - 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Priyamvada Goyal, Charles W. Monroe, ''Non-Isobaric Electrolyte Transport Modelling: Case Study for Nafion," 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, September 3rd 2018, Bologna, Italy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference paper given at 2018 NASA Aerospace Battery Workshop,¬†Research Park,¬† Huntsville, Alabama, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Maxim Zyskin, Charles W Monroe 'Generalized Newman Model of Solid Electrolytes', 2018 NASA Aerospace Battery Workshop, Research Park,  Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference paper presented at 120th Statistical Mechanics Conference,¬†16-18 December, 2018, Rutgers, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Maxim Zyskin, Charles W Monroe 'Electrochemical transport modeling: continuum and microscopic approach', 120th Statistical Mechanics Conference, 16-18 December, 2018, Rutgers, USA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference presentation at 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe, 'Electromechanics of ionic liquids near electrodes', 69th Annual Meeting go the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE-2018), 2-7 September 2018, Bologna Italy (presented on 6 September)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference presentation at 6th Edition of the International Meeting on Ionic Liquids for Electrochemical Devices 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe, 'Impedance spectra of ionic liquids' 6th Edition of the International Meeting on Ionic Liquids for Electrochemical Devices (ILED-6), 9-11 September 2018, Rome, Italy (presented on 11)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference presentation at Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 16-19 2019, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Maxim Zyskin, Charles W Monroe 'Thermodynamics-based nonlinear electrochemistry transport problems', Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 16-19, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Departmental Seminar (Cambridge Engineering) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to deliver a research seminar on our research about lithium/electrolyte interfaces in solid state batteries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/97735
 
Description International Flow Battery Forum, July 11th 2018, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact K.P. Smith, C.W. Monroe, "Determining state-of-charge of symmetric flow batteries
using open circuit potentials and self-discharge profiles," International Flow Battery Forum, July 11th 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland (conference paper and poster presentation)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by the Financial Times 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by the Financial Times, 16 Aug 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Poster presentation at 19th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe 'Electrochemomechanics of solid electrolytes and critical currents' 19th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries, 17-22 June 2018, Kyoto, Japan (presented on 21 June)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Research Seminar (Helmholtz Institute Ulm) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a talk on our work on separator/electrolyte interfaces in batteries to the research students and faculty associated with the Helmholtz Institute in Ulm, Germany, an organisation affiliated with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Ulm.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at 233rd Meeting of the Electrochemical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Priyamvada Goyal, Charles W. Monroe, ''Mechanical Basis of Nafion's High-Frequency Inductive Impedance," 233rd Meeting of the Electrochemical Society, May 16th 2018, Seattle, U.S.A.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at 69th ISE international conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Tianhong Hou, Charles W Monroe 'A complete characterisation of transport and thermodynamic properties for LiPF6 in PC', 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, September 2018, Bologna, Italy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at American Mathematical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Maxim Zyskin, Charles W Monroe 'Mathematics of electric batteries modelling', American Mathematical Society, Fall Eastern Sectional Meeting, University of Delaware, Newark, DE USA, 29 September 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at Americas International Meeting on Electrochemistry and Solid State Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact H N Chu, Charles W Monroe 'Characterising Lithium-Ion Cell State with a Streamlined Electrochemical/Thermal Model Parameterised by Lock-In Thermography', AiMES 2018 (Americas International Meeting on Electrochemistry and Solid State Science), 2 October 2018, Cancun, Mexico
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at 233rd ECS Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe, 'Electrochemomechanics in Doped Garnet Lithium-Ion Conductors', 233rd Electrochemical Society Meeting, 13-17 May 2018, Seattle Washington USA (presented on 13 May)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at ECCM-ECFD 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W. Monroe 'Eletrochemomechanics of doped solid electrolytes and impedance', 6th European Conference on Computational Mechanics - 7th European conference onComputational Fluid Dynamics, 11-15 June 2018, Glasgow UK (presented on 14 June)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe 'Electrochemomechanics and the Critical Current in LLZO', Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California USA (presented on 6 April 2018)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at MRS Spring Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe 'Electrochemomechanics of space-charge layers in LLZO near lithium metal', Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, 2-6 April 2018, Phoenix, Arizona USA (presented on 5 April)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at ModVal 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Guanchen Li, Charles W Monroe, 'Modelling Space Charging in Multi-carrier Solid Electrolytes', ModVal 2018, 12-13 April 2018, Aarau, Switzerland (presented on 12 April)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018