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Super Lightweight Graphene Aerogel Electrodes for Electrochemical Renewable Energy Devices (Advert Reference: RENU19/MCE/LIU)

  • Full or part time
    Dr T Liu
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 08, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Graphene aerogels (GAs), a group of carbon metamaterials, have attracted considerable interests for its potential applications, Their unique properties - high porosity, high surface area, ultralight weight, excellent elasticity, high electrical conductivity has enabled wide applications, such as supercapacitors, electrodes, energy storage devices and environmental remediation. By far, most of the reported fabrications of GAs are in lab scale, i.e. chemical vapour deposition (CVD), template-mediated assembly, 3D printing based rapid manufacturing and self-assembly. A fabrication strategy with potential to be scabled-up to being integrated to current industrial process, would be highly desired.

This project discover new preparation methods for GAs which are suitable to be used in renewable energy sources, such as fuel cells, Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors. Fundamental study (experimentally examination and numerically simulation) on mass transport, diffusion mechanism, pressure drop and heat exchange will be carried out to exam the samples. Student will receive full training on fabrication of above mentioned energy devices, innovative design and fabrication methods will also be investigated and 3D printed using Northumbria University’s state-of-the-art 3D prototyping suite. Performance of such renewable energy devices, in order to further improve the performance, e.g. specific power, durability, charge/discharge rate, capacity and flexibility etc.

The research outcome would accelerate deployment of lightweight renewable energy systems for electric vehicles, unmanned flying vehicles (UFV) and drones giving impact on related areas, e.g. future driving, clean growth and low carbon economy.

About CDT ReNU
The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. The overall aim of ReNU is to create a pipeline of highly skilled doctoral graduates in the areas of small-scale renewable and sustainable distributed energy that will drive UK productivity and innovation in the future. The scope of ReNU focuses on materials for energy conversion, storage and efficiency, while at the same time taking a whole systems view of the energy sector. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project described below at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Academic excellence in an appropriate subject area relevant to proposed project.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
• The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria (https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/help/eligibility/) you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference RENU19/MCE/LIU will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 8 March 2019
Start Date: 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Students from the UK and EU, which covers full fees, and a full stipend*, paid for four years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa).

*Stipend available to UK students only

References

1. Xiaoteng Liu*, Jiabin Xi, Ben Bin Xu, Bo Fang, Yucheng Wang, Maryam Bayati, Keith Scott, and Chao Gao*, A High-Performance Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Technology Enabled by Mediating High-Concentration Methanol through a Graphene Aerogel, Small Methods 2018, 0, 1800138

2. Lingping Kong, Xiaoteng Liu, Jinjia Wei, Steven Wang, Ben Bin Xu*, Donghui Long, and Fei Chen*, T-Nb2O5 nanoparticle enabled pseudocapacitance with fast Li-ion intercalation, Nanoscale, 2018, 10 (29), 14165-14170

3. Kun Luo, Guangbin Zhu Yuzhen Zhao, Zhihong Luo, Xiaoteng Liu, Kui Zhang, Yali Li and Keith Scott, Enhanced cycling stability of Li–O2 batteries by using a polyurethane/SiO2/glass fiber nanocomposite separator, Journal of Material Chemistry A, 2018, 6, 7770

4. Lei Xing, Qiong Cai, Xiaoteng Liu, Chunbo Liu, Keith Scott and Yongsheng Yan*, Anode partial flooding modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Optimisation of electrode properties and channel geometries. Chemical Engineering Science, 2016, 146, 88-103.

5. Xiaoteng Liu*, Elieen H. Yu and Keith Scott, Preparation and Evaluation of a Highly Stable Palladium Yttrium Platinum Core-shell-shell Structure Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction. Applied catalysis B: Environmental, 2015, 162, 593-601

6. Xiaoteng Liu, Chenxi Xu, Jigui Cheng* and Keith Scott*, A polybenzimidazole/ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide composite membrane for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Journal of Power Source, 2015, 274, 922-927.

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