ISCF Wave 1: (The JUICED Hub [Joint University Industry Consortium for Energy (Materials) and Devices Hub])

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

The proposal will develop one of the three UK energy materials hubs, which will carry out cutting edge research in close collaboration with industry in the development of materials up to demonstrator level (pre-commercial) devices. The hub will also have a major role in networking, training, educating in energy materials and devices across UK groups and industry, and will link-up and compliment existing energy related networks and groups to benefit the UK.

The "JUICED" Hub [Joint University-Industry Consortium for Energy (Materials) and Devices Hub] will focus its research on nano-enabled energy materials (ceramic materials on a scale of a billionth of a meter wide). Energy materials will be made and developed in applications, such as high performance batteries and similar energy storage devices for automotive, grid or consumer device applications, low cost materials for electrolysers (which use electrical energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel), fuel cells [devices which take chemical energy and can (sometimes) reversibly convert it to electrical energy]. Other energy materials of interest are materials which can scavenge low grade heat or energy and convert it into electrical energy or materials which can help store, transfer or regulate thermal energy.

The novelty in the hub's approach is that it will be able to considerably accelerate the development of new sustainable materials ;

(i) Use high throughput synthesis (making a large number of samples quickly in parallel or in series) and in many cases, computational methods (use of computers to simulate and understand and predict materials properties) and appropriate (rapid) screening of materials properties, which will identify lead materials in each application area

(ii) Laboratory-scale synthesis of the highest performing samples from above and testing to identify materials for larger scale syntheses

(iii) pilot scale syntheses and tests on samples on pre-commercial demonstrator devices, (in collaboration with industry or end users with a strong emphasis on replacing precious or unsustainable metals such as Pt, Ir, Ru, Pb, etc.).


How the research aligns with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund objectives;
The proposed energy hub aligns well to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund objectives as follows; the interactions with the industrial consortium in the hub will work with UK industry and accelerate discoveries of new advanced functional materials which will increase UK businesses' investment in R&D and improved R&D capability and capacity. The research in the hub, which covers aspects of materials, testing and characterisation as well as scale-up will lead to an increase multi- and interdisciplinary research around the challenge area of "clean and flexible energy", particularly in the design, development and manufacture of energy storage devices (batteries or similar devices) for the electrification of vehicles to support the business opportunities presented by the low carbon economy and tackle air pollution (e.g. new sustainable catalysts for oxygen evolution and reduction which can also be used in next generation batteries). Other areas that the hub covers that are which are linked to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund include "Manufacturing and Materials of the Future" (develop new, affordable, materials for advanced manufacturing sectors). Some of these materials are important components in devices which have applications also in Satellites and space technologies. The JUICED hub includes a number of scale-up and demonstrator activities and therefore this will lead to increased business-academic engagement on innovation activities relating to the same aforementioned challenge areas. The JUICED energy hub will include a number of larger and smaller companies and it will reach out to even more potential companies in the UK (SMEs and larger companies) with its workshops which will publicise capabilities.

Planned Impact

This project and its outcomes will undoubtedly have major impact on the following;

Society/Government Policies
The rapidly rising levels of ambient CO2 associated with the ever-increasing reliance and use of fossil fuels, is of growing concern as it drives global warming and an associated devastating impact on the global environment. In response to this concern the UK has now a legally binding target to reduce its green-house gases 1990 emission levels by 80% by 2050 and many other countries have acted similarly. The work described in this programme will create energy scavenging, conversion, storage materials and demonstrators that are not reliant on fossil fuels and that will improve the quality of life (e.g. by reducing the likelihood of "brown-outs"). The research will also offer viable routes to significantly reduce our carbon footprint and, therefore, impact on the work of policy makers and legislators. The hub will use its existing strong links to inform and respond to Government policy, e.g. via its representation on the Government's Nanotechnologies Strategy Forum. The ability to store and provide energy (on demand) in the remotest parts of the world will also be of benefit to aid organisations who are seeking to alleviate suffering in disaster-hit regions where the power grid may have been damaged.

The Economy
The UK economy will benefit thorough the design, discovery, validation and scale-up production and commercialization of new classes of inexpensive, effective and active advanced energy materials, coatings and catalysts/devices. The close collaboration of industry and academia, will lead to the development of sustainable, revenue-generating routes for the production of materials and devices related to energy, e.g. devices to generate hydrogen for grid scale energy storage or for stationary fuel cells, batteries, etc. (i.e. local) which will help to develop longer term large-scale use. Industries in the supply chain (e.g. fine chemicals suppliers, such as Thomas Swan who supply bespoke carbons) will also create and expand new applications for their materials offerings. Industry will also benefit from the hub's workshops: whilst the primary focus of the workshops will be to deliver technical and commercial information and attract potential collaborators and licensees, they will also provide networking opportunities and include technical sessions. Intellectual property (IP) from the research will be developed by the hub: once a patent has been filed, there will be opportunities for industries to develop their own modifications and/or build the active materials components into their own processes/devices, under suitable licensing arrangements.

Knowledge
As significant advances in relevant energy materials and devices and nanoscience will be delivered, methodologies for rapid production and screening will be validated and know-how created regarding the design and construction of scalable demonstrators. We will also educate researchers and students (in outreach activities) outside the consortium who will become aware of the outputs of our research. The consortium will create and run a Summer School on manufacturing to bring together researchers and students from academia and industry and educate them on the discovery and manufacturing of energy materials.

People
Through the technical expertise developed by the research team during the project (including study visits to new or existing collaborators), the training received in societal and ethical issues and the transferable skills developed in engagement with the media, the general public, policy makers and legislators.

Publications

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Bauer D (2018) TiO2/MoO2 Nanocomposite as Anode Materials for High Power Li-ion Batteries with Exceptional Capacity in International Journal of Electrochemical Science

 
Description we have discovered a number of things in the oxygen evolution and her reactions we have started to discover bifunctional catalysts and these are being optmised. in the work on supercapacitors we have developed some high power anode materials made from Nb and other elements which can perform for high power to replace LTO anodes in high power devices for energy storage. In mg ion batteries, we have found even more materials that will intercalate Mg reversibly..this last result is very exciting and seems to indicate that nanosizing and making defective materials is a way forward in this.
Exploitation Route low cost catalysts for metal air batteries (OER AND ORR OR HER catalysts) or electrolysers.
low cost mg ion batteries eventually
high power batteries
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Transport

 
Description Multiscale Tuning of Interfaces and Surfaces for Energy Applications (MISE)
Amount £2,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P007821/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Collaboration with Ilika PLC to use Physical Vapour Deposition to make samples 
Organisation Ilika
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Co-development of samples
Collaborator Contribution Co-development of samples
Impact Samples produced for project by PVD
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago for Developing Magnesium Batteries 
Organisation University of Illinois at Chicago
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Ian Johnson visited the University of Illinois at Chicago (specifically, the research group of Jordi Cabana) with nanomaterials developed at University College London for Mg battery testing.
Collaborator Contribution The Cabana group provided electrochemical testing equipment, resources and know-how to test UCL nanomaterials in prototype Mg-ion cells.
Impact One publication published: L. Hu, I.D. Johnson, S. Kim, G.M. Nolis, J. Freeland, H.D. Yoo, T.T. Fister, L. McCafferty, T.E. Ashton, J.A. Darr, J. Cabana, Tailoring the Electrochemical Activity of Magnesium Chromium Oxide Towards Mg Batteries Through Control of Size and Crystal Structure, Nanoscale, Accepted (2018). doi:10.1039/C8NR08347A. Three publications in process. One peer-reviewed oral presentation at a conference: Linhua Hu, Ian D. Johnson, Soojeong Kim, Gene M. Nolis, John W. Freeland, Hyun Deog Yoo, Tim T. Fister, Anna R. Ploszajski, Liam McCafferty, Thomas E. Ashton, Jawwad A. Darr, Jordi Cabana, Tailoring the Electrochemical Activity of Magnesium Chromium Oxide Towards Mg Batteries Through Control of Size and Crystal Structure, 28th September 2018, Mg-Batt, Ulm (Germany).
Start Year 2016
 
Description UCL Hosting ERASMUS Student - Simeone Casadio 
Organisation University of Bologna
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution UCL is hosting a 6 month placement, through ERASMUS, for Simeone Casadilo (University of Bologna) which is linked to WP3 - Materials for Supercapacitors.
Collaborator Contribution The ERASMUS Student has attended project meetings for the JUICED Hub and discussed his project with the academic team members within the hub.
Impact No outcomes as yet, but publications are expected.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Visits with Flexifunds at Birmingham University 
Organisation Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
PI Contribution Housed visiting students to conduct fluorination studies on various oxide materials,
Collaborator Contribution Provided students on short-stays to work on fluorination projects
Impact Research in progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Visits with Flexifunds at Birmingham University 
Organisation University of Zaragoza
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Housed visiting students to conduct fluorination studies on various oxide materials,
Collaborator Contribution Provided students on short-stays to work on fluorination projects
Impact Research in progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Commercial activities and proposals with Ricardo Ltd. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Ongoing communication with Ricardo Ltd regarding new proposals and commercial activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Energy materials networking event: Edinburgh, 31-10-2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Hub attended an energy materials networking event (in Edinburgh, 31-10-2017, organised by the MISE hub) in which a number of other energy materials hubs and industry partners were represented. A short presentation and poster were delivered to promote the hub, it's key objectives and routes to collaborate. The main audience was academics working within the energy materials space within the UK, with some industry presence at the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Faraday Battery Challenge Briefing Event: London, 24-01-2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attended Faraday Battery Challenge Briefing event in London 24-01-2018, and gave pitch to showcase the hub and routes to collaborate with the hub. A number of industry and academic contacts were made and further collaborations in the future are expected.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description JUICED Hub PhD Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The JUICED PhD Symposium gathered ~50 postgraduate students from UK universities, with >10 oral and >10 poster sessions from posgraduate researchers, which explored cutting edge energy related research including Energy Conversion and Fuel Cells, Charge Storage and Thermal Energy Materials. The Symposium aimed to give mainly PhD Students a platform to showcase their research and promote new collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Materials Research Exhibition 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Members recently exhibited at the Materials Research Exhibition 2018 (Islington, London). Over the two day event, held in London, the team showcased their research within the hub to an audience of over 1300 delegates from both academia and industry. First prize for the posters (sponsored by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3)) went to Ms. Alexandra Groves, a PhD student at UCL from Prof. Darr's group, for her poster entitled "High Throughput Nanomaterials Discovery and Scale-up".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Materials Showcase Event Feb 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact UCL hosted representatives from QinetiQ Group Plc, one of the JUICED Hub's Industrial partners, to showcase UCL's capabilities and expertise in materials research with the view to highlight synergies and opportunities for the two institutions to collaborate. Twelve academics presented their research and further collaborations between UCL and QinetiQ are expected in the near future as part of a growing institutional relationship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Oral Presentation at Post-Graduate Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact P.R. Slater gave an oral presentation entitled "Exploring "Alternative Realities" in Solid State Chemistry" at the
Science Matters Post-Graduate Conference at the University of Loughborough
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Oral presentation (Electrochem' 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A. Ratnayaka gave the oral presentation "Activated Carbon Nanospheres as High Rate, High Energy Density Supercapacitor Electrodes" at Electrochem' 2018 at Lancaster University. The Electrochem 2018 annual meeting is organised by the Electrochemistry and the Electroanalytical Sensing Systems Interest Groups of the RSC, and the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Oral presentation - Multiscale Tuning of Interfaces and Surfaces for Energy Applications (MISE) hub meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact P.R. Slater gave an oral presentation: "Metal exsolution from apatite materials" at the Multiscale Tuning of Interfaces and Surfaces for Energy Applications (MISE) hub meeting, 23rd October 2018, University of Birmingham.

MISE is a £2.1 million EPSRC networking Centre in partnership between four UK universities: St Andrews, Edinburgh, Bath and Birmingham.

The core research programme addresses topics relating to optimisation of interface structures, morphologies and compositions to enhance performance, longevity and value.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Outreach activity on fuel cells/batteries 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact P.R. Slater gave sessions on fuel cells/batteries to 25 low-ability Year 10 students from Balaam Wood School as part of an interaction with the "Chembam" outreach project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Poster Presentation - Midlands Electrochemistry Group Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paulo Luis, presented a poster entitled "Next Generation Clothing" to the Midlands Electrochemistry Group Meeting, at Birmingham University. The annual event is designed to bring together electrochemistry groups from local universities and provides an opportunity for postgraduate researchers to gain experience talking about their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentations at Mg-Batt conference in Ulm, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentations were given by Ian Johnson and Kit McColl in Mg-Batt in Germany, an international Mg-Battery conference. The presentations were well received by the audience, new collaborations made, and networking achieved with leading academics in the US, Germany and Japan.

Linhua Hu, Ian D. Johnson, Soojeong Kim, Gene M. Nolis, John W. Freeland, Hyun Deog Yoo, Tim T. Fister, Anna R. Ploszajski, Liam McCafferty, Thomas E. Ashton, Jawwad A. Darr, Jordi Cabana, Tailoring the Electrochemical Activity of Magnesium Chromium Oxide Towards Mg Batteries Through Control of Size and Crystal Structure, 28th September 2018, Mg-Batt, Ulm (Germany).

Kit McColl, Furio Corà, Computational studies of V2O5 and TiO2 as cathode materials for Mg-ion batteries, 28th September 2018, Mg-Batt, Ulm (Germany).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UP-SIGN 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A new UK-Pakistan Science and Innovation Global Network for academics (UP-SIGN) has been set up by Professor Jawwad Darr, UCL and PI of the JUICED Hub, this will include a group who are focussing on energy materials and devices. The group has already given lectures and a workshop overseas in December in Islamabad. See twitter link https://twitter.com/UPSIGN2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/UPSIGN2018