Electrochemical Engineering Science

Flow Cell ExperimentElectrochemical Engineering Science (EES) at Newcastle targets challenges in sustainable environment and energy and in healthcare, implementing multidisciplinary research  activities exploring applications of electrochemistry in energy storage, power generation, electrolysis, green energy, sensors and environmental protection and treatment applications. The group carries out novel research into fuel cells, batteries, hydrogen generation, electrolysers, biosensors and bioelectronics and carbon dioxide utilisation. The group also explores novel techniques in the synthesis of new catalyst, nanomaterials and membrane materials and optimising electrode structures.  More recently, the group have been using electrochemical analysis to understand cellular and microbial catalysis and processes and to develop also medical and health care applications.

 

The Primary contributors to this research group are:

 

Prof Keith Scott

  • Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells- catalysts, membrane electrolytes
  • Electrolysers
  • Hydrogen and energy storage
  • High temperature PEMFC
  • Alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Direct methanol and Alcohol fuel cell
  • Biological and Microbial Fuel Cells and Electrolysis cells
  • Water treatment
  • Lithium – Air and metal-air batteries
  • Modelling and Optimisation
  • Functional materials for membranes and electrocatalysts
  • Mechanisms of transport and electron transfer
  • Cell and stack testing and characterisation

 

Prof Paul Christensen

  • Electrochemistry and catalysis of: fuel cells, CO2 reduction (electrochemical Fischer-Tropsch) and ozone generation.
  • Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment and surface sterilization including ozone and non- thermal plasmas.
  • In-situ Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectroscopy for the study of: non thermal plasmas (ozone generation, desulfurization and CO2 conversion to value-added chemicals) and the electrode/electrolyte interface, eg. fuel cell electrocatalysis.
  • The electrochemistry of lithium ion batteries including the application of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to quality control, defect detection and lifetime prediction.
  • The application of non thermal plasmas to the application of CO2 as a chemical feedstock in the production of value-added chemicals.

 

Dr Eileen Yu

Healthcare challenges in disease preventionOur research interests can be broadly defined into two areas:

1. Energy and environmental issues by focusing on the emerging fields of:

Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) including Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) and Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

Carbon dioxide utilisation with electro- and bioelectrochemical catalysis of converting CO2 to valuable chemicals, such as liquid fuels, polymers

Enzymatic fuel cells as power source for implantable medical devices and small electronics

Alkaline membrane fuel cells for portable devices

2. Healthcare challenges in disease prevention, detection and monitoring by producing novel cutting edge Biosensors and Nanomaterials.

 

Dr Mohamed Mamlouk

  • Energy storage and conversion by electrochemical technologies including: fuel cells, electrolysers, metal-air and redox flow batteries.
  • Membrane Science & Engineering with focus on (alkaline) Anion Exchange Membranes technology with non-noble metal catalyst.
  • Modelling and optimisation of electrochemical systems.
  • Industrial waste water treatment, recycle and recovery.

 

Integrated Bioelectrochemical Systems

Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta (Microbial Fuel cells).

 

Achievements

Grant income:

  • Liquid Fuel and bioEnergy Supply from CO2 Reduction (EPSRC Multidisciplinary low carbon fuels scheme). Academic partners: Oxford, Sheffield, Surrey and South Wales
  • Resource recovery from wastewater with bioelectrochemical systems. (NERC Resource recovery from waste scheme). Academic partners: Universities of Manchester, Surrey, South Wales Buoyancy propulsion system for an Unmanned Air System (UAS) : the Little Owl (Innovate UK)
  • “Towards high temperature recyclable and stable anion exchange membranes for energy storage: affordable, accessible and free of Nobel metals”-Newcastle Institute of Sustainability NIRes
  • Development of a novel energy efficient electrodialysis cell to recycle Acids and Bases from industrial process water based on new types of electrodes”, NovEED, Collaborator: Fraunhofer Stuttgart (EU, FP7)
  • Mat4BatAdvanced materials for batteries. FP7-2013-GC-Materials. Theme GC.NMP.2013-1 - Improved materials for innovative ageing resistant batteries. Collaborative project
  • Alkali Metal Carbonate Rechargeable Batteries (  EPSRC IAA)
  • Temperature and Alkali Stable Polymer  Electrolytes for Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Electrolysers (EPSRC)
  • Metal Carbonate Rechargeable Batteries (EPSRC Seed corn award )        
  • Calcium rechargeable battery (Institute for Sustainability)
  • UK-India UKIERI: Development of high performance carbon nanomaterials for enhancing the cathodic oxygen reduction and performance of anode in microbial fuel cells (British Council)
  • Development of Biosensors for Dementia Biomarkers (EPSRC IAA)

 

We have graduated 23 PhD students from our research group during this REF period (2008-2013)

The four group members have published over 154 articles in peer reviewed journals, and have been invited to give talks at prestigious conferences such as the Gordon Research Symposium (2012).

Visiting scientists and Research Fellows from all over the world have worked and contributed to our research. Recently we have hosted senior scientists Dr. Lei Li and Xi-Bai Wu, (China), Dr Priyanshu Sharma (India), Dr Sylvia Martinez (Mexico), Dr Pilar Ocon Esteban (Spain) and Dr Carmen Maria Marchante (Spain)over 15 junior scientists from France, Spain, Italy, India, Poland and Singapore.

They have been honoured by appointments to visiting Professorships at Taiyuan  University, China (2012).

We contribute towards Leadership in Electrochemical Engineering Futures in UK and Europe by serving on European Energy Research Agency (EERA), on Joint Programme on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies, The European Working Party on Electrochemical Engineering (WPEE-EFCE) and Society of Chemical Industry- Electrochemical Technology Group (SCI-ECTG). EPSRC Energy storage and Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Supergen consortia.

 

Books, Edited Monographs and Book Chapters

  1. Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications
    Editors: Keith Scott and Eileen Hao Yu, Woodhead Publishing Ltd 2016.
  2. E. H. Yu, X. Wang, L. Li, X. T. Liu, Challenges and Prospective of catalysts for DOFC in Nanocatalyst for Alcohol Direct Oxidation Fuel Cells, RSC, Cambridge, 2012.
  3. K. Scott, E. H. Yu, N. Deteanu, B. Elbae, Microbial & biological Fuel Cells in Comprehensive Renewable Energy, Elsevier Oxford, 2010.
  4. K. Scott and E. H. Yu, Electrocatalysis of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells: From Fundamentals to Applications, Editors: Jiujun Zhang & Hansan Liu, NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, Canada; Wiley VCH 2009.

Selected Recent Publications.

Attidekou PS, Lambert S, Armstrong M, Widmer J, Scott K, Christensen PA. A study of 40 Ah lithium ion batteries at zero percent state of charge as a function of temperature. JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES 2014, 269, 694-703.

Xing L, Liu XT, Alaje T, Kumar R, Mamlouk M, Scott K. A two-phase flow and non-isothermal agglomerate model for a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. ENERGY 2014, 73, 618-634.

Dumitru A, Mamlouk M, Scott K. Effect of different chemical modification of carbon nanotubes for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline media. ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA 2014, 135, 428-438.

Cheng H, Scott K. Improving performance of rechargeable Li-air batteries from using Li-Nafion® binder. Electrochimica Acta 2014, 116, 51-58.

Puthiyapura VK, Pasupathi S, Su HN, Liu XT, Pollet B, Scott K. Investigation of supported IrO2 as electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction in proton exchange membrane water electrolyser. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2014, 39(5), 1905-1913.

Sahapatsombut U, Cheng H, Scott K. Modelling of operation of a lithium-air battery with ambient air and oxygen-selective membrane. Journal of Power Sources 2014, 249, 418-430.

Xing L, Mamlouk M, Kumar R, Scott K. Numerical investigation of the optimal Nafion® ionomer content in cathode catalyst layer: An agglomerate two-phase flow modelling. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2014, 39(17), 9087-9104.

Puthiyapura VK, Mamlouk M, Pasupathi S, Pollet BG, Scott K. Physical and electrochemical evaluation of ATO supported IrO2 catalyst for proton exchange membrane water electrolyser. JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES 2014, 269, 451-460.

Mamlouk M, Ocon P, Scott K. Preparation and characterization of polybenzimidzaole/diethylamine hydrogen sulphate for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 2014, 245, 915-926.

Kumar R, Mamlouk M, Scott K. Sulfonated polyether ether ketone - sulfonated graphene oxide composite membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. RSC Advances 2014, 4(2), 617-623.

Burkitt, R., T.R. Whiffen, and E.H. Yu, Iron Phthalocyanine and MnOx composite catalysts for Microbial Fuel Cell applications. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 181, 2016, 279-288.

Liu, X., Yu, E.H., and Scott, K., Preparation and evaluation of a highly stable palladium yttrium platinum core-shell-shell structure catalyst for oxygen reduction reactions. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 162, 2015, 593-601.

Sahin, S., Wongnate, T., Chaiyen, P., and Yu, E.H., Glucose Oxidation Using Oxygen Resistant Pyranose-2-Oxidase for Biofuel Cell Applications. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING Transactions, 41, 2014, 367-372.

Milnera, E., Scott, K., Head, I., Curtis, T., and Yu, E., Electrochemical Investigation of Aerobic Biocathodes at Different Poised Potentials: Evidence for Mediated Extracellular Electron Transfer. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING Transactions, 41, 2014, 355-360.

Kang, J., Hussain, A.T., Catt, M., Trenell, M., Haggett, B., and Yu, E.H., Electrochemical detection of non-esterified fatty acid by layer-by-layer assembled enzyme electrodes. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 190, 2014, 535-541.

KETEBU, O., CUMPSON, P., YU, E. 2014. The Effect of Temperature and Agitation on Polyethyleneimine Adsorption on Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanoparticles in the Synthesis of Iron Oxide-Au Core-Shell Nanoparticles. Advanced Science, Engineering and Medicine, 6, 2014, 531-537.

Wang, X., Yu, E.H., Horsfall, J., and Scott, K., Performance of the Direct Methanol Carbonate Fuel Cell Using Anion Exchange Materials and Non-Noble Metal Cathode Catalyst. Fuel Cells, 13, 2013, 817-821.

Li, L., Scott, K., and Yu, E. H., A direct glucose alkaline fuel cell using MnO2–carbon nanocomposite supported gold catalyst for anode glucose oxidation, Journal of Power Sources, 221, (2013), 1-5.

Wang, X., Huang, Z. M., Li, L., Huang, S. S., Yu, E. H., Scott, K., Energy Generation from Osmotic Pressure Difference Between the Low and High Salinity Water by Pressure Retarded Osmosis, Journal of Technology Innovations in Renewable Energy, 1, 2012, 122-130.

E. H. Yu, X. Wang, L. Li, U. Krewer and K. Scott, Direct Oxidation Alkaline Fuel Cells: from Materials to Systems, Energy and Environmental Science, 5 (2), (2012), 5668-5680

Yu, E. H., Burkitt, R., Wang, X., and Scott, K., Application of anion exchange ionomer for oxygen reduction catalysts in microbial fuel cells, Electrochemistry Communications, 21, (2012), 30-35.

Research facilities

Our group’s laboratories offer facilities to carry out lab scale and pilot scale electrolyser and fuel cell tests, non-aqueous electrochemical analysis, battery testing, electroanalysis, bio-interphase, performing electrochemistry in controlled environment (glove box) and fabrication of electrodes, membrane electrode assemblies and small cell stacks.