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Joint PhD with RWTH Aachen: Tuning Carbon Properties For Slurry Flow Electrodes In Vanadium Redox Batteries

Project Description

This project will explore the role of carbonaceous materials in state-of-the-art all-vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) electrodes. VRFBs are especially suited for large stationary energy storage where volume and weight are not limiting factors and are best for applications such as electrical peak shaving, load levelling, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and in conjunction with renewable energies (e.g., wind and solar). By changing the battery cell configuration from conventional non-scalable fixed electrodes (Figure, left) to a carbon slurry flow electrode design (Figure, middle) major design and process improvements can be achieved. When 3D-printed conductive static mixers (Figure, right) are introduced alongside, significant increases in the coulombic efficiency of up to 95% and energy efficiencies up to 65% due to improved charge transfer to the particles have been recorded. This project will investigate increasing these efficiencies through research into the properties of the carbon (particle size, shape, internal surface area, pore size distribution) and its behaviour under flow such as shear thinning within the electrolyte system (vanadium). Further, these properties will be tailored to improve and monitor the conductive particle network that forms in the electrolyte during operation of the redox flow battery.


The University of Melbourne: Sandra Kentish and Amanda Ellis

RWTH Aachen: Matthias Wessling

If successful, the PhD candidate will be enrolled at both the University of Melbourne and RWTH Aachen. The candidate will be co-supervised by supervisors at both institutions, will be based at the University of Melbourne and will spend at least twelve months at RWTH Aachen.

Funding Notes

The application process is competitive, and the applicant will need to meet the entry requirements of both institutions.

Information on the University of Melbourne entry requirements: View Website.

Information about the Joint PhD Program between the University of Melbourne and RWTH Aachen: View Website

The candidate's scholarship will include a 100% fee remission scholarship, a living allowance for three years with a possible 6-month extension, and funding for travel.

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