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Novel Zinc-ion capacitors with high energy and power densities

Batteries have high energy density leading to more storage but lack power density leading to a slow discharge rate. Capacitors, on the other hand, have high power density but lack energy density. A combination of the two would lead to fast charging and long life energy storage. The project team will develop high energy and power density energy storage device using sustainable materials. 

We will be developing Zn-ion capacitor (ZIC) based on novel electrode chemistry.

The main aims of the project are to:

  1. design and develop hybrid cathodes with transition metal oxides to develop high energy and power density batteries: We will be using thermodynamic calculations to predict the cathode chemistry through phase diagram calculations
  2. testing the cathodes with novel vitamin-based electrolytes to develop ZIC: We will be using bio-ionic liquid based electrolytes which are environmentally benign to test the ZICs
  3. in collaboration with Diamond light source, develop in situ electrochemical cells to evaluate Zn chemistry at the cathode and any impedimental reactions: In situ electrochemical X-ray absorbance spectroscopy will be used to understand the reaction mechanism at the cathode/electrolyte interface from which we can identify the rate limiting steps
  4. modulating the cathode to mitigate the impedimental reactions and improve the ZIC performance: Based on step 3, modifications in the cathode or electrolyte will be made to improve the ZIC performance
  5. engaging with project partners (TWI) for scale-up and implementation: Once high energy and power density ZIC has been tested and verified at lab scale, the design and scale-up process will be undertaken with TWI.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Abhishek Lahiri
Dr Abhishek Lahiri - Dr. Lahiri joined Brunel University as lecturer in March 2020. He got his PhD from University of Leeds in 2008 after which he went on to do his Postdoc in USA and Japan. From 2011 he joined Clausthal University of Technology in Prof Frank Endres group and worked extensively on electrodeposition in ionic liquids and understanding the battery electrode/electrolyte interface. His work primarily focusses on electrochemical synthesis of functional materials using ionic liquids for energy storage and electrocatalysis. Besides, he focusses on sustainable extraction process for recovery of metal/metal oxides from electronic wastes and lithium ion batteries. In ionic liquids, the electrode/electrolyte interface is considerably different from aqueous electrolytes and therefore controlling and modifying the interface leads to change in functional properties of the materials. His research focusses and utilises the property of interfacial modulation to develop new functional materials and tries to bridge the gap between fundamental aspects of electrochemistry and applied electrochemistry. Questions such as can we design a suitable interface to develop dendrite-free deposits which are essential for developing high energy density Li/Na metal batteries are targeted. Besides, developing batteries for grid energy storage with sustainable materials are being researched.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 12/10/2023