Applications are invited to the Engineering Division at the School of Mathematics, UEA, for a PhD in the field of biomass-derived carbon materials for electrochemical energy storage devices
Nowadays the generation of electrical energy mainly depends on fossil fuels, which not only cause several environmental problems, but also fluctuations between supply and demand in the distribution network. In this context alternative sources of clean energy must be developed using energy in a more efficient way and replacing their discontinuous nature. Moreover, the technological advances in the field of consumer electronics and the entry into the market of hybrid and electric vehicles have increased the interest on the development of energy storage systems able to cope with these new demands.
In this context, different electrochemical devices, such as supercapacitors, batteries and hybrid systems appear as the most promising ones. Most of them use carbon materials as electrodes, being the activated carbons (ACs) the most commonly used. Nonetheless graphene-related materials (Gs) have emerged as promising electrodes either by itself or combined with ACs in composites [1, 2, 3].
The methods of synthesis of these carbon materials starting from coal, petroleum or lignocellulosic resources can be found in the literature, being those based on fossil fuels the most widely described. Considering the drawbacks of these fossil fuels, biomass represents a green, abundant and alternative carbon source. In this context, the use of biomass wastes to produce carbon materials not only attends to solve their conversion but also alleviates the burden on strained energy resources.
The aim of this PhD focuses on the use of different biomass wastes to produce mainly ACs and graphene materials for their use as active electrode materials not only in supercapacitors and batteries (maybe redox flow batteries) but also to improve the design of hybrid systems (capacitor/battery) in order to achieve devices with high power densities and enhanced energy density values.
Applicants should hold or be completing an undergraduate honours degree with a 1st or a 2.1 classification.
Degrees in Material Science, Engineering, Chemistry and other related disciplines will be considered.
For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here: https://www.uea.ac.uk/mathematics/people/profile/s-melendi-espina
Type of programme: PhD
Project start date: October 2019
Mode of study: Full time
Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree - degrees in Material Science, Engineering, Chemistry and other related disciplines will be considered.
The standard minimum entry requirements is 2:1.