The electrochemical energy group teaches and performs research in areas of electrochemistry that are of particular relevance to energy conversion and storage for renewable energy sources. This includes fuel cells and batteries, which are devices that can spontaneously convert the energy stored in chemicals to electricity.
The group has ongoing research in areas such as:
- Water electrolysis
Water electrolysis is the process by which water is split into hydrogen and (usually) oxygen. Hydrogen is the most relevant fuel for fuel cells, but is also important for a number of industrial processes.
- Fuel cells
Current and recent work in the fuel cell area include bipolar plates and characterization of electrode layers.
Rates of the reactions occurring in water electrolysis and fuel cells are strongly dependent on chemical composition and nanostructure of the electrodes employed, a phenomenon frequently referred to as electrocatalysis. In fuel cells and water electrolysers, design of efficient electrocatalysts is therefore critical to keeping energy losses at a minimum. Research on and development of good electrocatalysts are an important part of the work in the group.
- Batteries and supercapacitors
Modern batteries depend on optimal composition and design of electrodes and electrolytes for much the same reasons as fuel cells and water electrolysis depend on good electrocatalysts. Work in the group includes mathematical modeling and experimental characterization of electrodes for batteries, and also supercapacitors which are similar to batteries but can be discharged at much higher rates.