Published: 21 April 2015

£350,000 EPSRC grant awarded

Prof Varcoe and Dr Whelligan have recently been awarded a £350,000 EPSRC grant (EP/M005933/1) to develop anion-exchange polymer electrolytes for solid alkaline electrolysers.

The 3 year project is in collaboration with Prof Scott’s group in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at Newcastle University. The electrolysers are targeted at the efficient generation of hydrogen from aqueous solutions as well as the energy efficient electrochemical reactions involving the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide into value added chemicals. The project builds on the department’s world leading research into anion-exchange membranes for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells (EPSRC funded from 2003).

Dr Ponce Gonzalez joined the team at the start of the grant (December 2014) from the University of Valencia in Spain. In her role as postdoctoral Research Fellow, she has commenced the development of anion-exchange membranes and ionomers with enhanced stability to alkaline environments. Julia has already achieved a breakthrough with the synthesis of 4 new radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes.

More information the technology can be obtained in a recently published review article “Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems” (Open Access – freely available).

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