Imperial College London

Professor Nigel Brandon OBE FREng

Faculty of Engineering

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 8600n.brandon Website

 
 
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Location

 

2.06Faculty BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

421 results found

Liu X, Ouyang M, Orzech M, Niu Y, Tang W, Chen J, Naylor Marlow M, Puhan D, Zhao Y, Tan R, Brankin C, Haworth N, Zhao S, Wang H, Childs P, Margadonna S, Wagemaker M, Pan F, Brandon N, George C, Wu Bet al., 2020, In-situ fabrication of carbon-metal fabrics as freestanding electrodes for high-performance flexible energy storage devices, Energy Storage Materials, ISSN: 2405-8297

Hierarchical 1D carbon structures are attractive due to their mechanical, chemical and electrochemical properties however the synthesis of these materials can be costly and complicated. Here, through the combination of inexpensive acetylacetonate salts of Ni, Co and Fe with a solution of polyacrylonitrile (PAN), self-assembling carbon-metal fabrics (CMFs) containing unique 1D hierarchical structures can be created via easy and low-cost heat treatment without the need for costly catalyst deposition nor a dangerous hydrocarbon atmosphere. Microscopic and spectroscopic measurements show that the CMFs form through the decomposition and exsolution of metal nanoparticle domains which then catalyze the formation of carbon nanotubes through the decomposition by-products of the PAN. These weakly bound nanoparticles form structures similar to trichomes found in plants, with a combination of base-growth, tip-growth and peapod-like structures, where the metal domain exhibits a core(graphitic)-shell(disorder) carbon coating where the thickness is in-line with the metal-carbon binding energy. These CMFs were used as a cathode in a flexible zinc-air battery which exhibited superior performance to pure electrospun carbon fibers, with their metallic nanoparticle domains acting as bifunctional catalysts. This work therefore unlocks a potentially new category of composite metal-carbon fiber based structures for energy storage applications and beyond.

Journal article

Liu X, Qian X, Tang W, Luo H, Zhao Y, Tan R, Qiao M, Gao X, Hua Y, Wang H, Zhao S, Lai C, Titirici M, Brandon N, Yang S, Wu Bet al., 2020, Designer uniform Li plating/stripping through lithium–cobalt alloying hierarchical scaffolds for scalable high-performance lithium-metal anodes, Journal of Energy Chemistry, ISSN: 2095-4956

Lithium metal anodes are of great interest for advanced high-energy density batteries such as lithium-air, lithium-sulfur and solid-state batteries, due to their low electrode potential and ultra-high theoretical capacity. There are, however, several challenges limiting their practical applications, which include low coulombic efficiency, the uncontrollable growth of dendrites and poor rate capability. Here, a rational design of 3D structured lithium metal anodes comprising of in-situ growth of cobalt-decorated nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes on continuous carbon nanofibers is demonstrated via electrospinning. The porous and free-standing scaffold can enhance the tolerance to stresses resulting from the intrinsic volume change during Li plating/stripping, delivering a significant boost in both charge/discharge rates and stable cycling performance. A binary Co-Li alloying phase was generated at the initial discharge process, creating more active sites for the Li nucleation and uniform deposition. Characterization and density functional theory calculations show that the conductive and uniformly distributed cobalt-decorated carbon nanotubes with hierarchical structure can effectively reduce the local current density and more easily absorb Li atoms, leading to more uniform Li nucleation during plating. The current work presents an advance on scalable and cost-effective strategies for novel electrode materials with 3D hierarchical microstructures and mechanical flexibility for lithium metal anodes.

Journal article

Gayon-Lombardo A, Lukas M, Brandon N, Cooper Set al., Pores for thought: Generative adversarial networks for stochastic reconstruction of 3D multi-phase electrode microstructures with periodic boundaries, npj Computational Materials, ISSN: 2057-3960

The generation of multiphase porous electrode microstructures is a critical step in the optimisation of electrochemical energy storage devices. This work implements a deep convolutional generative adversarial network (DC-GAN) for generating realistic n-phase microstructural data. The same network architecture is successfully applied to two very different three-phase microstructures: A lithium-ion battery cathode and a solid oxide fuel cell anode. A comparison between the real and synthetic data is performed in terms of the morphological properties (volume fraction, specific surface area, triple-phase boundary) and transport properties (relative diffusivity), as well as the two-point correlation function. The results show excellent agreement between datasets and they are also visually indistinguishable. By modifying the input to the generator, we show that it is possible to generate microstructure with periodic boundaries in all three directions. This has the potential to significantly reduce the simulated volume required to be considered “representative” and therefore massively reduce the computational cost of the electrochemical simulations necessary to predict the performance of a particular microstructure during optimisation.

Journal article

Jais AA, Ali SAM, Anwar M, Somalu MR, Muchtar A, Isahak WNRW, Baharudin NA, Lim KL, Brandon NPet al., 2020, Performance of Ni/10Sc1CeSZ anode synthesized by glycine nitrate process assisted by microwave heating in a solid oxide fuel cell fueled with hydrogen or methane, JOURNAL OF SOLID STATE ELECTROCHEMISTRY, Vol: 24, Pages: 711-722, ISSN: 1432-8488

Journal article

Tan R, Wang A, Malpass-Evans R, Williams R, Zhao EW, Liu T, Ye C, Zhou X, Darwich BP, Fan Z, Turcani L, Jackson E, Chen L, Chong SY, Li T, Jelfs KE, Cooper AI, Brandon NP, Grey CP, McKeown NB, Song Qet al., 2020, Hydrophilic microporous membranes for selective ion separation and flow-battery energy storage, Nature Materials, Vol: 19, Pages: 195-202, ISSN: 1476-1122

Membranes with fast and selective ion transport are widely used for water purification and devices for energy conversion and storage including fuel cells, redox flow batteries and electrochemical reactors. However, it remains challenging to design cost-effective, easily processed ion-conductive membranes with well-defined pore architectures. Here, we report a new approach to designing membranes with narrow molecular-sized channels and hydrophilic functionality that enable fast transport of salt ions and high size-exclusion selectivity towards small organic molecules. These membranes, based on polymers of intrinsic microporosity containing Tröger’s base or amidoxime groups, demonstrate that exquisite control over subnanometre pore structure, the introduction of hydrophilic functional groups and thickness control all play important roles in achieving fast ion transport combined with high molecular selectivity. These membranes enable aqueous organic flow batteries with high energy efficiency and high capacity retention, suggesting their utility for a variety of energy-related devices and water purification processes.

Journal article

Zhang D, Forner-Cuenca A, Taiwo OO, Yufit V, Brushett FR, Brandon NP, Gu S, Cai Qet al., 2020, Understanding the role of the porous electrode microstructure in redox flow battery performance using an experimentally validated 3D pore-scale lattice Boltzmann model, JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES, Vol: 447, ISSN: 0378-7753

Journal article

Hack J, Garcia-Salaberri PA, Kok MDR, Jervis R, Shearing PR, Brandon N, Brett DJLet al., 2020, X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells: What is the Representative Elementary Area?, JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol: 167, ISSN: 0013-4651

Journal article

Speirs J, Balcombe P, Blomerus P, Stettler M, Achurra-Gonzalez P, Woo M, Ainalis D, Cooper J, Sharafian A, Merida W, Crow D, Giarola S, Shah N, Brandon N, Hawkes Aet al., Natural gas fuel and greenhouse gas emissions in trucks and ships, Progress in Energy, Vol: 2, Pages: 012002-012002

Journal article

Chen X, Liu X, Ouyang M, Chen J, Taiwo O, Xia Y, Childs P, Brandon N, Wu Bet al., 2019, Multi-metal 4D printing with a desktop electrochemical 3D printer, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322

4D printing has the potential to create complex 3D geometries which are able to react to environmental stimuli opening new design possibilities. However, the vast majority of 4D printing approaches use polymer based materials, which limits the operational temperature. Here, we present a novel multi-metal electrochemical 3D printer which is able to fabricate bimetallic geometries and through the selective deposition of different metals, temperature responsive behaviour can thus be programmed into the printed structure. The concept is demonstrated through a meniscus confined electrochemical 3D printing approach with a multi-print head design with nickel and copper used as exemplar systems but this is transferable to other deposition solutions. Improvements in deposition speed (34% (Cu)-85% (Ni)) are demonstrated with an electrospun nanofibre nib compared to a sponge based approach as the medium for providing hydrostatic back pressure to balance surface tension in order to form a electrolyte meniscus stable. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray computed tomography and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy shows that bimetallic structures with a tightly bound interface can be created, however convex cross sections are created due to uneven current density. Analysis of the thermo-mechanical properties of the printed strips shows that mechanical deformations can be generated in Cu-Ni strips at temperatures up to 300 °C which is due to the thermal expansion coefficient mismatch generating internal stresses in the printed structures. Electrical conductivity measurements show that the bimetallic structures have a conductivity between those of nanocrystalline copper (5.41×106 S.m−1) and nickel (8.2×105 S.m-1). The potential of this novel low-cost multi-metal 3D printing approach is demonstrated with the thermal actuation of an electrical circuit and a range of self-assembling structures.

Journal article

Chen X, Liu X, Ouyang M, Childs P, Brandon N, Wu Bet al., 2019, Electrospun composite nanofibre supercapacitors enhanced with electrochemically 3D printed current collectors, Journal of Energy Storage, Vol: 26, Pages: 100993-100993, ISSN: 2352-152X

Carbonised electrospun nanofibres are attractive for supercapacitors due to their relatively high surface area, facile production routes and flexibility. With the addition of materials such as manganese oxide (MnO), the specific capacitance of the carbon nanofibres can be further improved through fast surface redox reactions, however this can reduce the electrical conductivity. In this work, electrochemical 3D printing is used as a novel means of improving electrical conductivity and the current collector-electrode interfacial resistance through the deposition of highly controlled layers of copper. Neat carbonised electrospun electrodes made with a 30 wt% manganese acetylacetonate (MnACAC) and polyacrylonitrile precursor solution have a hydrophobic nature preventing an even copper deposition. However, with an ethanol treatment, the nanofibre films can be made hydrophilic which enhances the copper deposition morphology to enable the formation of a percolating conductive network through the electrode. This has the impact of increasing electrode electronic conductivity by 360% from 10 S/m to 46 S/m and increasing specific capacitance 110% from 99 F/g to 208 F/g at 5 mV/s through increased utilisation of the pseudocapacitive active material. This novel approach thus provides a new route for performance enhancement of electrochemical devices using 3D printing, which opens new design possibilities.

Journal article

Chakrabarti B, Yufit V, Kavei A, Xia Y, Stevenson G, Kalamaras E, Luo H, Feng J, Tariq F, Taiwo O, Titirici M-M, Brandon Net al., 2019, Charge/discharge and cycling performance of flexible carbon paper electrodes in a regenerative hydrogen/vanadium fuel cell, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, Vol: 44, Pages: 30093-30107, ISSN: 0360-3199

Journal article

Pino-Munoz CA, Chakrabarti BK, Yufit V, Brandon NPet al., 2019, Characterization of a regenerative hydrogen-vanadium fuel cell using an experimentally validated unit cell model, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol: 166, Pages: A3511-A3524, ISSN: 0013-4651

A hydrogen-vanadium electrochemical system was characterized using extensive experimental tests at different current densities and flow rates of vanadium electrolyte. The maximum peak power density achieved was 2840 W m− 2 along with a limiting current density of over 4200 A m− 2. The cycling performance presented a stable coulombic efficiency over 51 cycles with a mean value of 99.8%, while the voltage efficiency decreased slowly over time from a value of 90.3% to 87.0%. The capacity loss was of 5.6 A s per cycle, which could be related to crossover of ionic species and liquid water. A unit cell model, previously proposed by the authors, was modified to include the effect of species crossover and used to predict the cell potential. Reasonable agreement between the model simulations and the experimental charge-discharge data was observed, with Normalized Root-Mean-Square Errors (NRMSEs) within the range of 0.8–5.3% and 2.9–19.0% for charge and discharge, respectively. Also, a good degree of accuracy was observed in the simulated trend of the polarization and power density, with NRMSEs of 3.1% and 1.0%, and 1.1% and 1.9%, for the operation at a flow rate of vanadium electrolyte of 100 and 50 mL min− 1, respectively, while the voltage efficiency during the cycling test were estimated within a Root-Mean-Square Error (RMSE) of 1.9%. A study of the effect of the component properties on the cell potential was carried out by means of a model sensitivity analysis. The cell potential was sensitive to the cathodic transfer coefficient and the cathode porosity, which are directly related to the cathodic overpotential through the Butler-Volmer equation and the cathodic ohmic overpotential. It was recognized that a kinetic study for the cathodic reaction is needed to obtain more reliable kinetic parameters at practical vanadium concentrations, as well as reliable microstructural parameters of carbon electrodes.

Journal article

Chen J, Wang X, Boldrin P, Brandon NP, Atkinson Aet al., 2019, Hierarchical dual-porosity nanoscale nickel cermet electrode with high performance and stability, Nanoscale, Vol: 11, Pages: 17746-17758, ISSN: 2040-3364

Nano-structured metal-ceramic materials have attracted attention to improve performance in energy conversion applications. However, they have poor long-term stability at elevated temperatures due to coarsening of the metal nanoparticles. In this work we show that this can be mitigated by a novel design of the nano-structure of Ni cermet fuel electrodes for solid oxide cells. The strategy is to create a dual porosity microstructure, without the use of fugitive pore-formers, with micron-size pores to facilitate gas transport and nanoscale pores to control nano-particle coarsening. This has been achieved using a continuous hydrothermal synthesis and two-stage heat treatments to produce electrodes with micron size agglomerates of nano-structured porous Ni-Yttria-Stabilised-Zirconia (YSZ). This unique hierarchical microstructure combines enhanced electrochemical reaction in the high activity (triple phase boundary density 11 μm-2) nanoscale regions with faster gas diffusion in the micron-sized pores. The electrodes are aged at 800 °C in humidified 5% H2-N2 for up to 600 h. The electrochemical reaction resistance is initially 0.17 Ω cm2 but later reaches a steady long-term value of 0.15 Ω cm2. 3-D reconstruction of the electrodes after 10 h and 100 h of ageing reveals an increase in YSZ network connectivity and TPB percolation. This improvement is well-correlated to the 3-D tomography parameters using a physical model adapted from mixed conducting SOC air electrodes, which is also supported, for the first time, by numerical simulations of the microstructural evolution. These also reveal that in the long term, nickel coarsening is inhibited by the nanoscale entanglement of Ni and YSZ in the hierarchical microstructure.

Journal article

Wang Y, Banerjee A, Wehrle L, Shi Y, Brandon N, Deutschmann Oet al., 2019, Performance analysis of a reversible solid oxide cell system based on multi-scale hierarchical solid oxide cell modelling, ENERGY CONVERSION AND MANAGEMENT, Vol: 196, Pages: 484-496, ISSN: 0196-8904

Journal article

Lombardo AG, Simon BA, Taiwo O, Neethling SJ, Brandon NPet al., 2019, A pore network model of porous electrodes in electrochemical devices, JOURNAL OF ENERGY STORAGE, Vol: 24, ISSN: 2352-152X

Journal article

Boldrin P, Brandon NP, 2019, Progress and outlook for solid oxide fuel cells for transportation applications, Nature Catalysis, Vol: 2, Pages: 571-577, ISSN: 2520-1158

With their high temperatures and brittle ceramic components, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) might not seem the obvious fit for a power source for transportation applications. However, over recent years, advances in materials and cell design have begun to mitigate these issues, leading to the advantages of SOFCs such as fuel flexibility and high efficiency being exploited in vehicles. Here, we review these advances, look at the vehicles that SOFCs have already been used in, discuss the areas that need improvement for full commercial breakthrough and the ways in which catalysis can assist with these. In particular, we identify lifetime and degradation, fuel flexibility, efficiency and power density as key aspects for SOFCs’ improvement. Expertise from the catalysis landscape, ranging from surface science and computational materials design, to improvements in reforming catalysts and reformer design, are instrumental to this goal.

Journal article

Chen J, Ouyang M, Boldrin P, Liu X, Darr J, Atkinson A, Brandon NPet al., 2019, Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanoscale Ni-CGO Electrode from Nano-Composite Powders, ECS Transactions, Vol: 91, Pages: 1799-1805, ISSN: 1938-6737

Journal article

Anderson K, Brandon N, Techno-economic analysis of thermoelectrics for waste heat recovery, ENERGY SOURCES PART B-ECONOMICS PLANNING AND POLICY, Vol: 14, Pages: 147-157, ISSN: 1556-7249

Journal article

Ouyang M, Boldrin P, Maher R, Chen X, Liu X, Cohen L, Brandon Net al., 2019, A mechanistic study of the interactions between methane and nickel supported on doped ceria, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol: 248, Pages: 332-340, ISSN: 0926-3373

A novel combined method using modified methane pulses and in-situ Raman spectroscopy together with mass spectrometry is applied to impregnated Ni/gadolinium-doped ceria (CGO). The partial oxidation of methane is deduced to proceed via a Mars-van-Krevelen type mechanism composed of initial methane decomposition together with carbon oxidation by oxygen from CGO. The critical role of the ceria surface and the bulk oxygen in the reaction is defined in detail. Oxygen is a necessary reactant in the reaction, as well as inhibiting carbon deposition. Oxygen spill-over is the driving force for the carbon oxidation and the ceria surface oxygen is resupplied by bulk oxygen after depletion. Bulk migration of oxygen to the surface is the rate-determining step. We also demonstrate that the ceria oxygen stoichiometry significantly affects the type of reaction and the rate of reaction between methane and Ni/CGO: The total oxidation of methane happens only when the oxygen stoichiometry is high while the oxygen spill-over rate decreases with decreasing oxygen stoichiometry, which reduces the rate of carbon elimination and results in reduction in the rate of methane oxidation. This work lays out a comprehensive evaluation methodology and provides important insights for future design of methane oxidation catalysts for solid oxide fuel cells, and more widely for methane reforming with different oxidants (steam, CO2, NO2 etc).

Journal article

Crow DJG, Balcombe P, Brandon N, Hawkes ADet al., 2019, Assessing the impact of future greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas production, Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 668, Pages: 1242-1258, ISSN: 0048-9697

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by the extraction of natural gas are an important contributor to lifecycle emissions and account for a significant fraction of anthropogenic methane emissions in the USA. The timing as well as the magnitude of these emissions matters, as the short term climate warming impact of methane is up to 120 times that of CO 2 . This study uses estimates of CO 2 and methane emissions associated with different upstream operations to build a deterministic model of GHG emissions from conventional and unconventional gas fields as a function of time. By combining these emissions with a dynamic, techno-economic model of gas supply we assess their potential impact on the value of different types of project and identify stranded resources in various carbon price scenarios. We focus in particular on the effects of different emission metrics for methane, using the global warming potential (GWP) and the global temperature potential (GTP), with both fixed 20-year and 100-year CO 2 -equivalent values and in a time-dependent way based on a target year for climate stabilisation. We report a strong time dependence of emissions over the lifecycle of a typical field, and find that bringing forward the stabilisation year dramatically increases the importance of the methane contribution to these emissions. Using a commercial database of the remaining reserves of individual projects, we use our model to quantify future emissions resulting from the extraction of current US non-associated reserves. A carbon price of at least 400 USD/tonne CO 2 is effective in reducing cumulative GHGs by 30–60%, indicating that decarbonising the upstream component of the natural gas supply chain is achievable using carbon prices similar to those needed to decarbonise the energy system as a whole. Surprisingly, for large carbon prices, the choice of emission metric does not have a significant impact on cumulative emissions.

Journal article

Wehrle L, Wang Y, Banerjee A, Brandon N, Deutschmann Oet al., 2019, Dynamic Modeling of Reversible Solid Oxide Cells, CHEMIE INGENIEUR TECHNIK, Vol: 91, Pages: 833-842, ISSN: 0009-286X

Journal article

Song B, Bertei A, Wang X, Cooper S, Ruiz-Trejo E, Chowdhury R, Podor R, Brandon Net al., 2019, Unveiling the mechanisms of solid-state dewetting in Solid Oxide Cells with novel 2D electrodes, Journal of Power Sources, Vol: 420, Pages: 124-133, ISSN: 0378-7753

During the operation of Solid Oxide Cell (SOC) fuel electrodes, the mobility of nickel can lead to significant changes in electrode morphology, with accompanying degradation in electrochemical performance. In this work, the dewetting of nickel films supported on yttriastabilized zirconia (YSZ), hereafter called 2D cells, is studied by coupling in-situ environmentalscanning electron microscopy (E-SEM), image analysis, cellular automata simulation and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Analysis of experimental E-SEM images shows that Ni dewetting causes an increase in active triple phase boundary (aTPB) length up to a maximum, after which a sharp decrease in aTPB occurs due to Ni de-percolation. Thismicrostructural evolution is consistent with the EIS response, which shows a minimum in polarization resistance followed by a rapid electrochemical degradation. These results reveal that neither evaporation-condensation nor surface diffusion of Ni are the main mechanisms of dewetting at 560-800 °C. Rather, the energy barrier for pore nucleation within the dense Ni film appears to be the most important factor. This sheds light on the relevant mechanisms and interfaces that must be controlled to reduce the electrochemical degradation of SOC electrodes induced by Ni dewetting.

Journal article

Liu X, Taiwo O, Yin C, Ouyang M, Chowdhury R, Wang B, Wang H, Wu B, Brandon N, Wang Q, Cooper Set al., 2019, Aligned lonogel electrolytes for high‐temperature supercapacitors, Advanced Science, Vol: 6, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 2198-3844

Ionogels are a new class of promising materials for use in all‐solid‐state energy storage devices in which they can function as an integrated separator and electrolyte. However, their performance is limited by the presence of a crosslinking polymer, which is needed to improve the mechanical properties, but compromises their ionic conductivity. Here, directional freezing is used followed by a solvent replacement method to prepare aligned nanocomposite ionogels which exhibit enhanced ionic conductivity, good mechanical strength, and thermal stability simultaneously. The aligned ionogel based supercapacitor achieves a 29% higher specific capacitance (176 F g−1 at 25 °C and 1 A g−1) than an equivalent nonaligned form. Notably, this thermally stable aligned ionogel has a high ionic conductivity of 22.1 mS cm−1 and achieves a high specific capacitance of 167 F g−1 at 10 A g−1 and 200 °C. Furthermore, the diffusion simulations conducted on 3D reconstructed tomography images are employed to explain the improved conductivity in the relevant direction of the aligned structure compared to the nonaligned. This work demonstrates the synthesis, analysis, and use of aligned ionogels as supercapacitor separators and electrolytes, representing a promising direction for the development of wearable electronics coupled with image based process and simulations.

Journal article

Song W, Liu X, Wu B, Brandon N, Shearing PR, Brett DJL, Xie F, Jason Riley Det al., 2019, Sn@C evolution from yolk-shell to core-shell in carbon nanofibers with suppressed degradation of lithium storage, Energy Storage Materials, Vol: 18, Pages: 229-237, ISSN: 2405-8297

Metallic Sn has high conductivity and high theoretical capacity for lithium storage but it suffers from severe volume change in lithiation/delithiation leading to capacity fade. Yolk-shell and core-shell Sn@C spheres interconnected by carbon nanofibers were synthesized by thermal vapor and thermal melting of electrospun nanofibers to improve the cycling stability. Sn particles in yolk-shell spheres undergo dynamic structure evolution during thermal melting to form core-shell spheres. The core-shell spheres linked along the carbon nanofibers show outstanding performance and are better than the yolk-shell system for lithium storage, with a high capacity retention of 91.8% after 1000 cycles at 1 A g-1. The superior structure of core-shell spheres interconnected by carbon nanofibers has facile electron conductivity and short lithium ion diffusion pathways through the carbon nanofibers and shells, and re-develops Sn@C structures with Sn clusters embedded into carbon matrix during electrochemical cycling, enabling the high performance.

Journal article

Trudgeon DP, Qiu K, Li X, Mallick T, Taiwo OO, Chakrabarti B, Yufit V, Brandon NP, Crevillen-Garcia D, Shah Aet al., 2019, Screening of effective electrolyte additives for zinc-based redox flow battery systems, JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES, Vol: 412, Pages: 44-54, ISSN: 0378-7753

Journal article

Yufit V, Tariq F, Biton M, Brandon Net al., 2019, Operando visualisation and multi-scale tomography studies of dendrite formation and dissolution in zinc batteries, Joule, Vol: 3, Pages: 485-502, ISSN: 2542-4351

Alternative battery technologies are required to meet growing energy demands and address the limitations of present technologies. As such, it is necessary to look beyond lithium-ion batteries. Zinc batteries enable high power density while being sourced from ubiquitous and cost-effective materials. This paper presents, for the first time known to the authors, multi-length scale tomography studies of failure mechanisms in zinc batteries with and without commercial microporous separators. In both cases, dendrites were grown, dissolved, and regrown, critically resulting in different morphology of dendritic layer formed on both the electrode and the separator. The growth of dendrites and their volume-specific areas were quantified using tomography and radiography data in unprecedented resolution. High-resolution ex situ analysis was employed to characterize single dendrites and dendritic deposits inside the separator. The findings provide unique insights into mechanisms of metal-battery failure effected by growing dendrites.

Journal article

Speirs J, Balcombe P, Blomerus P, Stettler M, Brandon N, Hawkes Aet al., 2019, Can natural gas reduce emissions from transport?: Heavy goods vehicles and shipping

Report

Rubio-Garcia J, Kucernak A, Zhao D, Lei D, Fahy K, Yufit V, Brandon N, Gomez-Gonzalez Met al., 2019, Hydrogen/manganese hybrid redox flow battery, JPhys Energy, Vol: 1, ISSN: 2515-7655

Electrochemical energy storage is a key enabling technology for further integration of renewables sources. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are promising candidates for such applications as a result of their durability, efficiency and fast response. However, deployment of existing RFBs is hindered by the relatively high cost of the (typically vanadium-based) electrolyte. Manganese is an earth-abundant and inexpensive element that is widely used in disposable alkaline batteries. However it has hitherto been little explored for RFBs due to the instability of Mn(III) leading to precipitation of MnO2 via a disproportionation reaction. Here we show that by combining the facile hydrogen negative electrode reaction with electrolytes that suppress Mn(III) disproportionation, it is possible to construct a hydrogen/manganese hybrid RFB with high round trip energy efficiency (82%), and high power and energy density (1410 mW cm−2, 33 Wh l−1), at an estimated 70% cost reduction compared to vanadium redox flow batteries.

Journal article

Stevenson GR, Boldrin P, Brandon NP, 2019, Liquid-based synthesis of nickel- And lanthanum- co-doped strontium titanates for use as anodes in all-ceramic solid oxide fuel cell anodes, Pages: 1761-1770, ISSN: 1938-6737

© The Electrochemical Society. Nickel- lanthanum- co-doped compositions of strontium titanate have been synthesized and characterized by a scaleable liquid-based synthesis that may offer an alternative to conventional solid-state synthesis. La0.52Sr0.28Ti0.94Ni0.06O3 is synthesized from soluble precursors followed by calcination in air. The materials can be made phase pure at temperatures as low as 1250°C, as highlighted by X-ray diffraction, and nickel exsolves in hydrogen in the same way as solid-state-synthesized materials. The particle size can be varied by calcination temperature and ball milling between 2 µm and 20 µm. The material is then measured electrochemically by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and 4-point DC conductivity. A reduction in particle size from 20 µm to 9 µm results in a large improvement in impedance response measured.

Conference paper

Ouyang M, Bertei A, Cooper SJ, Wu Y, Liu X, Boldrin P, Kishimoto M, Wu B, Brandon NPet al., 2019, Design of fibre Ni/CGO anode and model interpretation, ECS Transactions, Vol: 91, Pages: 1721-1739, ISSN: 1938-6737

© The Electrochemical Society. A new structure of Ni/gadolinium-doped ceria (CGO) is prepared by a highly tuneable and facile combination of electrospinning and tape-casting method. The structure consists of a network made by continuous Ni fibres and filled in with CGO matrices. When used as the anode of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), though it has a lower triple phase boundary (TPB) density, it exhibits better performance compared with impregnated and cermet Ni/CGO with higher nickel loading. An algorithm is developed to determine the ceria-pore double phase boundary (DPB) density with different distance from nickel phase. Using the results, the relative electrochemical reaction rate on DPB and TPB of three different electrodes are calculated and proves that fibre-matrices structure has the morphology advantage of efficiently making use of all ceria-pore DPB. The relative contribution of DPB and TPB in anode reaction of SOFC is quantified in the first time and the importance of DPB is further stressed. This work provides new inspirations in material design of SOFC/SOEC and develops a novel strategy to evaluate the performance of electrodes quantitatively.

Journal article

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