Energy and materials

The team working in this area is multidisciplinary with a strong background in the synthesis, optimisation and application of advanced functional materials for energy conversion and storage.

Our research

Our research deals with the development of novel nanomaterials for solid oxide fuel cells, electrolysers, batteries, super-capacitors, the new generation of solar cells and membranes technology, as well as custom-made catalysts for environmental and photocatalytic applications.

We tune the chemistry and the structure of multicomponent materials to make them top systems for energy applications.  Our team combines expertise in chemical engineering, physical chemistry, chemistry of materials and multi-scale modelling, which allow us to develop research at a fundamental level and transform the basic knowledge into real-world applications.

Research interests

Clean energy production, carbon capture/utilisation and bioenergy are priority areas among our research interests.

In particular, we have a H2/CO2 lab for the production of bio-hydrogen syngas and fine chemicals using CO2 as a carbon pool. We design pioneering catalysts and nanoreactors based on metallic and metal-oxide nanoparticles, as well as yolk-shell structures with direct applicability in fuel processors and green chemistry.

As for bioenergy, fast pyrolysis and advanced technology for biofuel production constitute one of our research thrusts. Novel pyrolyser reactors for one-pot biofuel generation from biomass are currently under development in our facilities.

Such devices make possible the so-called “waste to fuel” approach in a compact manner using membranes to intensify the process. Additionally, we are active in the application of plasma technology including plasma catalysis, plasma pyrolysis and the use of plasma as a versatile tool for nanomaterials synthesis.

Our current research deals with the development of novel nanomaterials for solid oxide fuel cells, electrolysers, batteries, super-capacitors, the new generation of solar cells and membranes technology, as well as custom-made catalysts for environmental and photocatalytic applications. We tune the chemistry and the structure of multicomponent materials to make them top systems for energy applications.  Our team combines expertise in chemical engineering, physical chemistry, chemistry of materials and multi-scale modelling, which allow us to develop research at a fundamental level and transform the basic knowledge into real-world applications.

Our team

Coordinators

Tomas Ramirez Reina profile image

Dr Tomas Ramirez Reina

Senior Lecturer / Director of Employability

Marco Sacchi profile image

Dr Marco Sacchi

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Key contributors

Carol Crean profile image

Dr Carol Crean

Senior Lecturer in Physical and Materials Chemistry

Sai Gu profile image

Professor Sai Gu

Head of the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Professor of Chemical Engineering

Brendan Howlin profile image

Dr Brendan Howlin

Senior Lecturer in Computational Chemistry

Peter Roth profile image

Dr Peter Roth

Lecturer in Applied Organic/Polymer Chemistry and School Postgraduate Research Director

Bob Slade profile image

Professor Bob Slade

Professor (Chemical Technology) and Professor Emeritus

John Varcoe profile image

Professor John Varcoe

Professor Materials Chemistry and Director of Research

David Watson profile image

Dr David Watson

Senior Lecturer in Physical and Materials Chemistry and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Daniel Whelligan profile image

Dr Daniel Whelligan

Senior Lecturer in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry