Imperial College London

Professor Nigel Brandon OBE FREng FRS

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

446 results found

Fan L, Mokhov A, Saadabadi SA, Brandon N, Aravind PVet al., 2021, Methane steam reforming reaction in solid oxide fuel cells: Influence of electrochemical reaction and anode thickness, Journal of Power Sources, Vol: 507, ISSN: 0378-7753

The influence of operation temperature, inlet gas composition, current density and the anode thickness on the methane steam reforming reaction over nickel yttria-stabilized zirconia anodes was experimentally studied in solid oxide fuel cells. The experimental results were analyzed using data fitting in Power-Law and Langmuir–Hinshelwood kinetic models. Similar trends of dependence of methane and steam partial pressures were observed in both models. The methane reaction order is positive. Negative influence of steam partial pressure on the methane steam reforming reaction rate are found. The electrochemical reaction and anode thickness affect the reforming kinetics parameters. The anodes thickness shows particular influences on the steam reaction order, and the activation energy when a current is produced. The model evaluation suggests that the two models are comparable and the extra parameters within the Langmuir–Hinshelwood kinetic model are contributing to the lower mean absolute percentage error and higher coefficient of determination R2.

Journal article

Jiao K, Xuan J, Du Q, Bao Z, Xie B, Wang B, Zhao Y, Fan L, Wang H, Hou Z, Huo S, Brandon NP, Yin Y, Guiver MDet al., 2021, Designing the next generation of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells., Nature, Vol: 595, Pages: 361-369, ISSN: 0028-0836

With the rapid growth and development of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology, there has been increasing demand for clean and sustainable global energy applications. Of the many device-level and infrastructure challenges that need to be overcome before wide commercialization can be realized, one of the most critical ones is increasing the PEMFC power density, and ambitious goals have been proposed globally. For example, the short- and long-term power density goals of Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization are 6 kilowatts per litre by 2030 and 9 kilowatts per litre by 2040, respectively. To this end, here we propose technical development directions for next-generation high-power-density PEMFCs. We present the latest ideas for improvements in the membrane electrode assembly and its components with regard to water and thermal management and materials. These concepts are expected to be implemented in next-generation PEMFCs to achieve high power density.

Journal article

Balcombe P, Staffell I, Kerdan IG, Speirs JF, Brandon NP, Hawkes ADet al., 2021, How can LNG-fuelled ships meet decarbonisation targets? An environmental and economic analysis, Energy, Vol: 227, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 0360-5442

International shipping faces strong challenges with new legally binding air quality regulations and a 50% decarbonisation target by 2050. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a widely used alternative to liquid fossil fuels, but methane emissions reduce its overall climate benefit. This study utilises new emissions measurements and supply-chain data to conduct a comprehensive environmental life cycle and cost assessment of LNG as a shipping fuel, compared to heavy fuel oil (HFO), marine diesel oil (MDO), methanol and prospective renewable fuels (hydrogen, ammonia, biogas and biomethanol). LNG gives improved air quality impacts, reduced fuel costs and moderate climate benefits compared to liquid fossil fuels, but with large variation across different LNG engine types. Methane slip from some engines is unacceptably high, whereas the best performing LNG engine offers up to 28% reduction in global warming potential when combined with the best-case LNG supply chain. Total methane emissions must be reduced to 0.8–1.6% to ensure climate benefit is realised across all timescales compared to current liquid fuels. However, it is no longer acceptable to merely match incumbent fuels; progress must be made towards decarbonisation targets. With methane emissions reduced to 0.5% of throughput, energy efficiency must increase 35% to meet a 50% decarbonisation target.

Journal article

Ouyang M, Bertei A, Cooper SJ, Wu Y, Boldrin P, Liu X, Kishimoto M, Wang H, Naylor Marlow M, Chen J, Chen X, Xia Y, Wu B, Brandon NPet al., 2021, Model-guided design of a high performance and durability Ni nanofiber/ceria matrix solid oxide fuel cell electrode, Journal of Energy Chemistry, Vol: 56, Pages: 98-112, ISSN: 2095-4956

Mixed ionic electronic conductors (MIECs) have attracted increasing attention as anode materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and they hold great promise for lowering the operation temperature of SOFCs. However, there has been a lack of understanding of the performance-limiting factors and guidelines for rational design of composite metal-MIEC electrodes. Using a newly-developed approach based on 3D-tomography and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, here for the first time we quantify the contribution of the dual-phase boundary (DPB) relative to the three-phase boundary (TPB) reaction pathway on real MIEC electrodes. A new design strategy is developed for Ni/gadolinium doped ceria (CGO) electrodes (a typical MIEC electrode) based on the quantitative analyses and a novel Ni/CGO fiber–matrix structure is proposed and fabricated by combining electrospinning and tape-casting methods using commercial powders. With only 11.5 vol% nickel, the designer Ni/CGO fiber–matrix electrode shows 32% and 67% lower polarization resistance than a nano-Ni impregnated CGO scaffold electrode and conventional cermet electrode respectively. The results in this paper demonstrate quantitatively using real electrode structures that enhancing DPB and hydrogen kinetics are more efficient strategies to enhance electrode performance than simply increasing TPB.

Journal article

Gao X, Liu X, He R, Wang M, Xie W, Brandon N, Wu B, Ling H, Yang Set al., 2021, Designed high-performance lithium-ion battery electrodes using a novel hybrid model-data driven approach, Energy Storage Materials, Vol: 36, Pages: 435-458, ISSN: 2405-8297

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely recognized as the most promising energy storage technology due to their favorable power and energy densities for applications in electric vehicles (EVs) and other related functions. However, further improvements are needed which are underpinned by advances in conventional electrode designs. This paper reviews conventional and emerging electrode designs, including conventional LIB electrode modification techniques and electrode design for next-generation energy devices. Thick electrode designs with low tortuosity are the most conventional approach for energy density improvement. Chemistries such as lithium-sulfur, lithium-air and solid-state batteries show great potential, yet many challenges remain. Microscale structural modelling and macroscale functional modelling methods underpin much of the electrode design work and these efforts are summarized here. More importantly, this paper presents a novel framework for next-generation electrode design termed: Cyber Hierarchy And Interactional Network based Multiscale Electrode Design (CHAIN-MED), a hybrid solution combining model-based and data-driven techniques for optimal electrode design, which significantly shortens the development cycle. This review, therefore, provides novel insights into combining existing design approaches with multiscale models and machine learning techniques for next-generation LIB electrodes.

Journal article

Trudgeon DP, Loh A, Ullah H, Li X, Yufit V, Brandon N, Liu M, Kong Let al., 2021, The influence of zinc electrode substrate, electrolyte flow rate and current density on zinc-nickel flow cell performance, ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA, Vol: 373, ISSN: 0013-4686

Journal article

Chowdhury R, Banerjee A, Zhao Y, Liu X, Brandon Net al., 2021, Simulation of bi-layer cathode materials with experimentally validated parameters to improve ion diffusion and discharge capacity, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, Vol: 5, Pages: 1103-1119, ISSN: 2398-4902

The prospect of thick graded electrodes for both higher energy and higher-power densities in lithium-ion batteries is investigated. The simulation results discussed in previous reports on next-generation graded electrodes do not recognize the effect of material processing conditions on microstructural, transport and kinetic parameters. Hence, in this work, we focus on the effect of material processing conditions on particle morphology and its subsequent influence on microstructure (porosity and tortuosity), along with the resultant transport (solid-phase diffusivity) and kinetic (reaction rate constant) properties of synthesized single-layer cathodes. These experimental insights are employed to simulate the benefits of 400 μm thick bi-layer graded cathodes with two different particle sizes and porosities in each layer. The microstructural, transport, and kinetic information are obtained through 3D imaging and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. These parameters are used to develop bi-layer numerical models to understand transport phenomena and to predict cell performance with such graded structures. Simulation results highlight that bi-layer cathodes display higher electrode utilization (solid phase lithiation) next to the current-collector compared to conventional monolayer cathodes with an increase of 39.2% in first discharge capacity at 2C. Additionally, the simulations indicate that an improvement of 47.7% in energy density, alongside a marginal increase of 0.6% in power density, can be achieved at 4C by structuring the porosity in the layer next to the separator to be higher than the porosity in the layer next to the current-collector.

Journal article

Jamil Z, Ruiz-Trejo E, Brandon NP, 2021, Electrochemical Performance of Electrodeposited Ni/GDC Anodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, ASM Science Journal, Vol: 14, Pages: 148-154, ISSN: 1823-6782

The fabrication of SOFC anodes using infiltration method has shown a potential to produce an excellent anode performance with a relatively reduced amount of nickel. Nonetheless, infiltration method is very challenging for industrial application due to its lengthy and energy consuming process, which involves repeated Ni nitrate solution infiltration, heating and cooling cycles. A combination of electroless and electrodeposition technique has shown a promising alternative method due to its ability to accelerate the Ni adding process into porous scaffolds at near-room or room temperature. Ni loadings range between ~5 to ~18 vol% were deposited onto the GDC scaffolds to demonstrate the catalytic role of Ni loadings on the electrochemical performance of the electrodeposited anodes. The total electrode polarisation of the anodes exhibited a promising result when the loading of Ni 5.3 vol% (0.74 Ω.cm2). Further, increases in Ni loadings to 17.6 vol% Ni, relatively decreased the performance of the electrode to 1.25 Ω.cm2

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., 2021, Designer uniform Li plating/stripping through lithium–cobalt alloying hierarchical scaffolds for scalable high-performance lithium-metal anodes, Journal of Energy Chemistry, Vol: 52, Pages: 385-392, 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

Chakrabarti BK, Feng J, Kalamaras E, Rubio-Garcia J, George C, Luo H, Xia Y, Yufit V, Titirici M-M, Low CTJ, Kucernak A, Brandon NPet al., 2020, Hybrid redox flow cells with enhanced electrochemical performance via binderless and electrophoretically deposited nitrogen-doped graphene on carbon paper electrodes., ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol: 12, Pages: 53869-53878, ISSN: 1944-8244

Hybrid redox flow cells (HRFC) are key enablers for the development of reliable large-scale energy storage systems; however, their high cost, limited cycle performance, and incompatibilities associated with the commonly used carbon-based electrodes undermine HRFC's commercial viability. While this is often linked to lack of suitable electrocatalytic materials capable of coping with HRFC electrode processes, the combinatory use of nanocarbon additives and carbon paper electrodes holds new promise. Here, by coupling electrophoretically deposited nitrogen-doped graphene (N-G) with carbon electrodes, their surprisingly beneficial effects on three types of HRFCs, namely, hydrogen/vanadium (RHVFC), hydrogen/manganese (RHMnFC), and polysulfide/air (S-Air), are revealed. RHVFCs offer efficiencies over 70% at a current density of 150 mA cm-2 and an energy density of 45 Wh L-1 at 50 mA cm-2, while RHMnFCs achieve a 30% increase in energy efficiency (at 100 mA cm-2). The S-Air cell records an exchange current density of 4.4 × 10-2 mA cm-2, a 3-fold improvement of kinetics compared to the bare carbon paper electrode. We also present cost of storage at system level compared to the standard all-vanadium redox flow batteries. These figures-of-merit can incentivize the design, optimization, and adoption of high-performance HRFCs for successful grid-scale or renewable energy storage market penetration.

Journal article

Chen J, Ouyang M, Boldrin P, Atkinson A, Brandon NPet al., 2020, Understanding the coarsening and degradation in a nanoscale nickel gadolinia-doped-ceria electrode for high-temperature applications., ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol: 12, Pages: 47564-47573, ISSN: 1944-8244

Nanostructure engineering is an effective approach to enhance the electrochemical performance of energy devices. While the high surface area of nanoparticles greatly enlarges the density of reaction sites, it often also leads to relatively rapid degradation as the particles tend to coarsen to reduce their high surface energy. Therefore, a nickel/gadolinia-doped-ceria (CGO) cermet electrode is studied, with a novel porous nanostructure consisting of nanoscale Ni (100 nm) and CGO (50 nm) crystallites, cosintered from nanocomposite precursor agglomerate particles. This electrode combines both high performance and excellent durability, with a total area-specific resistance (ASR) of 0.11 Ω cm2 at 800 °C and a stable ASR with up to 170 h ageing in humidified 5% H2-N2. Post-test analysis by 3D tomography shows that nickel coarsens and is responsible for the initial increase in ASR. However, the subsequent electrochemical performance is stable because reaction at the double phase boundaries (DPBs) on the surfaces of nanoscale CGO becomes dominant and is resistant to ageing. At this stage, the coarsened Ni network is also stabilized by the surrounding nanostructure. The dominant role of the DPB reaction is supported quantitatively using a continuum model with geometrical parameters obtained from 3D tomography.

Journal article

Strbac G, Pudjianto D, Aunedi M, Djapic P, Teng F, Zhang X, Ameli H, Moreira R, Brandon Net al., 2020, Role and value of flexibility in facilitating cost-effective energy system decarbonisation, Progress in Energy, Vol: 2, Pages: 042001-042001

Journal article

Loh A, Li X, Taiwo OO, Tariq F, Brandon NP, Wang P, Xu K, Wang Bet al., 2020, Development of Ni-Fe based ternary metal hydroxides as highly efficient oxygen evolution catalysts in AEM water electrolysis for hydrogen production, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, Vol: 45, Pages: 24232-24247, ISSN: 0360-3199

Journal article

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, Vol: 30, Pages: 329-336, 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

Hack J, Rasha L, Cullen PL, Bailey JJ, Neville TP, Shearing PR, Brandon NP, Brett DJLet al., 2020, Use of X-ray computed tomography for understanding localised, along -the -channel degradation of polymer electrolyte fuel cells, ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA, Vol: 352, ISSN: 0013-4686

Journal article

Speirs J, Jalil-Vega F, Cooper J, Gerber Machado P, Giarola S, Brandon N, Hawkes Aet al., 2020, The flexibility of gas - what is it worth?, White Paper 5: The Flexibility of gas – what is it worth?, London, UK, Publisher: Sustainable Gas Institute, Imperial College London, 5

What is the evidence on the flexibility value that gas vectors and gas networks can provide to support the future energy system?There is an increasing debate regarding the use of gas networks in providing support for the decarbonisation of energy systems.The perceived value of gas “vectors” – encompassing natural gas, hydrogen and biomethane – is that they may provide flexibility, helping to support daily and seasonal variation in energy demand, and increasingly intermittent electricity supply as renewable electricity generation increases as a proportion of the electricity mix.Arguments in support of gas suggest that electricity systems will find it difficult to maintain flexibility on their own, whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing production to meet new demand for heating and transport. Gas, on the other hand, is expected to provide flexibility at relatively low cost, and may be produced and used with relatively low greenhouse gas emissions.White Paper 5 investigates the evidence surrounding the flexibility provided by gas and gas networks and the cost of, and value provided by gas to the future energy system.

Report

Chakrabarti B, Rubio-Garcia J, Kalamaras E, Yufit V, Tariq F, Low CTJ, Kucernak A, Brandon Net al., 2020, Evaluation of a non-aqueous vanadium redox flow battery using a deep eutectic solvent and graphene-modified carbon electrodes via electrophoretic deposition, Batteries, Vol: 6, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 2313-0105

Common issues aqueous-based vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) face include low cell voltage due to water electrolysis side reactions and highly corrosive and environmentally unfriendly electrolytes (3 to 5 M sulfuric acid). Therefore, this investigation looks into the comparison of a highly conductive ionic liquid with a well-studied deep eutectic solvent (DES) as electrolytes for non-aqueous VRFBs. The latter solvent gives 50% higher efficiency and capacity utilization than the former. These figures of merit increase by 10% when nitrogen-doped graphene (N-G)-modified carbon papers, via a one-step binder-free electrophoretic deposition process, are used as electrodes. X-ray computed tomography confirms the enhancement of electrochemical surface area of the carbon electrodes due to N-G while electrochemical impedance spectra show the effect of its higher conductivity on improving RFB performance. Finally, potential strategies for the scaling-up of DES-based VRFBs using a simple economical model are also briefly discussed. From this study, it is deduced that more investigations on applying DESs as non-aqueous electrolytes to replace the commonly used acetonitrile may be a positive step forward because DESs are not only cheaper but also safer to handle, far less toxic, non-flammable, and less volatile than acetonitrile.

Journal article

Chakrabarti BK, Kalamaras E, Singh AK, Bertei A, Rubio-Garcia J, Yufit V, Tenny KM, Wu B, Tariq F, Hajimolana YS, Brandon NP, John Low CT, Roberts EPL, Chiang Y-M, Brushett FRet al., 2020, Modelling of redox flow battery electrode processes at a range of length scales: a review, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, Vol: 4, Pages: 5433-5468, ISSN: 2398-4902

In this article, the different approaches reported in the literature for modelling electrode processes in redox flow batteries (RFBs) are reviewed. RFB models vary widely in terms of computational complexity, research scalability and accuracy of predictions. Development of RFB models have been quite slow in the past, but in recent years researchers have reported on a range of modelling approaches for RFB system optimisation. Flow and transport processes, and their influence on electron transfer kinetics, play an important role in the performance of RFBs. Macro-scale modelling, typically based on a continuum approach for porous electrode modelling, have been used to investigate current distribution, to optimise cell design and to support techno-economic analyses. Microscale models have also been developed to investigate the transport properties within porous electrode materials. These microscale models exploit experimental tomographic techniques to characterise three-dimensional structures of different electrode materials. New insights into the effect of the electrode structure on transport processes are being provided from these new approaches. Modelling flow, transport, electrical and electrochemical processes within the electrode structure is a developing area of research, and there are significant variations in the model requirements for different redox systems, in particular for multiphase chemistries (gas–liquid, solid–liquid, etc.) and for aqueous and non-aqueous solvents. Further development is essential to better understand the kinetic and mass transport phenomena in the porous electrodes, and multiscale approaches are also needed to enable optimisation across the relevent length scales.

Journal article

Xing X, Lin J, Brandon N, Banerjee A, Song Yet al., 2020, Time-Varying Model Predictive Control of a Reversible-SOC Energy-Storage Plant Based on the Linear Parameter-Varying Method, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY, Vol: 11, Pages: 1589-1600, ISSN: 1949-3029

Journal article

Gayon-Lombardo A, Lukas M, Brandon N, Cooper Set al., 2020, Pores for thought: generative adversarial networks for stochastic reconstruction of 3D multi-phase electrode microstructures with periodic boundaries, npj Computational Materials, Vol: 6, 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

Li T, Lu X, Rabuni MF, Wang B, Farandos NM, Kelsall GH, Brett DJL, Shearing PR, Ouyang M, Brandon NP, Li Ket al., 2020, High-performance fuel cell designed for coking-resistance and efficient conversion of waste methane to electrical energy, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, Vol: 13, Pages: 1879-1887, ISSN: 1754-5692

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., 2020, Natural gas fuel and greenhouse gas emissions in trucks and ships, Progress in Energy, Vol: 2, Pages: 012002-012002

Journal article

Golbert J, Adjiman CS, Brandon NP, 2019, Micro-structural Modelling of SOFC Anodes, ECS Transactions, Vol: 7, Pages: 2041-2047

Journal article

Brett, D J L, Aguiar P, Brandon N P, Coop I, Dueck J, Galloway R C, Grande O, Hayes G W, Lillie K, Mellors C, Thompson S, Tilley R, Wood Tet al., 2019, Operational experience of an IT-SOFC / battery hybrid system for automotive applications, Electrochem. Soc. Trans., Vol: 7, Pages: 113-122

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

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