Professor John Varcoe


Professor Materials Chemistry
BSc PhD CSci CChem FRSC
+44 (0)1483 686838
02 AZ 02

Biography

Areas of specialism

Anion-exchange polymer electrolytes; Radiation-grafted functional polymers; Alkali membrane fuel cells and electrolysers; Reverse electrodialysis; Raman spectro-microscopy

University roles and responsibilities

  • Chair of the Area 9 (Chemistry) Health & Safety Forum
  • Fire Marshal AZ Building
  • Co-ordinator for the Department of Chemistry's Website and Twitter Account
  • Faculty Health and Safety Committee
  • REF outputs co-ordinator for Chemistry

My qualifications

1995
BSc (Hons) Chemistry (first class)
University of Exeter
2000
PhD Materials Chemistry
University of Exeter
2008
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice
University of Surrey

Research

Research interests

Research projects

Research collaborations

Indicators of esteem

  • Key Conference Speeches:

    • Invited talk at the 19th Solid State Proton Conductors meeting in Stowe, Vermont USA (Sept 2018)
    • Opening invited talk at the 6th international seminar on green energy conversion in Koumi Japan (Sept 2017)
    • Invited talk at the 18th Solid State Proton Conductors meeting in Oslo Norway (Sept 2016)
    • Invited talk at the 2016 Spring Materials Research Society Meeting in Phoenix USA (March 2016)
    • Invited talk at the 7th International Fuel Cell Workshop 2015 in Kofu Japan (August 2015)
    • Keynote talk at the 18th National Conference on Electrochemistry in Harbin China (August 2015)
    • Invited talk at the ECS Conference on Electrochemical Energy Conversion & Storage in Glasgow UK (July 2015)
    • Invited lectures at the EMEA Workshops on ion–exchange membranes in Bad Zwischenahn Germany (June 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
    • Keynote talk delivered to the 1st International Symposium of Polymer Ecomaterials in Changchun China (Aug 2012)
    • Keynote talk at the American Chemical Society's 242nd National Meeting in Denver, Colorado USA (August 2011) in the Fuel Cell Chemistry and Operation Session
    • Keynote talk at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Materials Chemistry 10 (MC10) conference in Manchester UK (July 2011)
    • Plenary session lecture "Anion-Exchange Polymers and Non-platinum Catalysts for Alkaline Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells" in Symposium B7 (Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells 10) at the 218 Electrochemical Society Meeting (October 2010)
  • Academic Awards

    • 2016: University Health and Safety Champion Award (2015-2016)
    • 2010: EPSRC Leadership Fellowship (2010-2015)
    • 2010: Faculty Researcher of the Year (University of Surrey)
    • 1997: Lovis Rydon Memorial Prize for best second year Ph.D. performance (University of Exeter)
    • 1995: Fisons Prize for best third year results (University of Exeter)
    • 1995: White Knight Prize for best inorganic third year project (University of Exeter)
    • 1994: Beecham Prize for best second year results (University of Exeter)
    • 1993: Dean’s Commendation for outstanding first year performance (University of Exeter)

My teaching

Courses I teach on

My publications

Highlights

All of the below (where Surrey is lead affiliation) are CC-BY Open Access

INVITED REVIEW: J. R. Varcoe, P. Atanassov, D. R. Dekel, A. M. Herring, M. A. Hickner, P. A. Kohl, A. R. Kucernak, W. E. Mustain, K. Nijmeijer, K. Scott, T. Xu, L. Zhuang, "Anion-exchange membranes in electrochemical energy systems", Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 3135 (2014).

X. Peng, T. J. Omasta, E. Magliocca, L. Wang, J. R. Varcoe, W. E. Mustain, "N‐doped Carbon CoOx Nanohybrids: The First Precious Metal Free Cathode to Achieve 1.0 W/cm2 Peak Power and 100 h Life in Anion‐Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells" Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed., in-press (2018).

L. Wang, M. Bellini, H. A. Miller, J. R. Varcoe, "A high conductivity ultrathin anion-exchange membrane with 500+ h alkali stability for use in alkaline membrane fuel cells that can achieve 2 W per square cm at 80 degC", J. Mater. Chem. A, 6, 15404 (2018).

J. Ponce-Gonzalez, J. R. Varcoe, D. K. Whelligan, "Commercial monomer availability leading to missed opportunities? Anion-exchange membranes made from meta-vinylbenzyl chloride exhibit an alkali stability enhancement", ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 1, 1883 (2018).

Y. Zheng, U. Ash, R. P. Pandey, A. G. Ozioko, J. Ponce-González, M. Handl, T. Weissbach, J. R. Varcoe, S. Holdcroft, M. W. Liberatore, R. Hiesgen, D. R. Dekel, "Water Uptake Study of Anion Exchange Membranes", Macromolecules, 51, 3264 (2018).

T. J. Omasta, A. M. Park, J. M. LaManna, Y. Zhang, X. Peng, L. Wang, D. L. Jacobson, J. R. Varcoe, D. S. Hussey, B. S. Pivovar, W.  E. Mustain, "Beyond Catalysis and Membranes: Visualizing and Solving the Challenge of Electrode Water Accumulation and Flooding in AEMFCs", Energy Environ. Sci., 11, 551 (2018).

J. Ponce-Gonzalez, I. Ouachan, J. R. Varcoe, D. K. Whelligan, "Radiation-induced grafting of a butyl-spacer styrenic monomer onto ETFE: the synthesis of the most alkali stable radiation-grafted anion-exchange membrane to date", J. Mater. Chem. A, 6, 823 (2018).

L. Wang, J. J. Brink, J. R. Varcoe, "The first anion-exchange membrane fuel cell to exceed 1 W cm-2 at 70 oC with a non-Pt-group (O2) cathode", Chem. Commun., 53, 11771 (2017).

L. Wang, J. J. Brink, Y. Liu, A. M. Herring, J. Ponce-Gonzalez, D. K. Whelligan, J. R. Varcoe, "Non-fluorinated pre-irradiation-grafted (peroxidated) LDPE-based anion-exchange membranes with high performance and stability", Energy Environ. Sci., 10, 2154 (2017).

L. Wang, E. Maggliocca, E. L. Cunningham, W. E. Mustain, S. D. Poynton, R. Escudero-Cid, M. M. Nasef, J. Ponce-Gonzalez, R. Bance-Souahli, R. C. T. Slade, D. K. Whelligan, J. R. Varcoe, "An optimised synthesis of high performance radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Green Chem., 19, 831 (2017).

J. Ponce-Gonzalez, D. K. Whelligan, L. Wang, R. Bance-Soualhi, Y. Wang, Y. Peng, H. Peng, D. C. Apperley, H. N. Sarode, T. P. Pandey, A. G. Divekar, S. Seifert, A. M. Herring, L. Zhuang, J. R. Varcoe, "High performance aliphatic-heterocyclic benzyl-quaternary ammonium radiation-grafted anion-exchange membranes", Energy Environ. Sci., 9, 3724 (2016). 

See Google Scholar Profile for a full list of publications and citations

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9898-0235

Other showcased publications:

Y. Zhu, L. Ding, X. Liang, M. A. Shehzad, L. Wang, X. Ge, Y. He, L. Wu, J. R. Varcoe, T. Xu, "Beneficial use of rotatable-spacer side-chains in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells" Energy Environ. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/C8EE02071J (2018).

M.N. Sweilam, J.R. Varcoe, C. Crean, "Fabrication and Optimization of Fiber-Based Lithium Sensor: A Step towards Wearable Sensors for Lithium Drug Monitoring in Interstitial Fluid" ACS Sensors, 3, 1802 (2018).

W.H. Lee, C.Crean, J. R. Varcoe, R. Bance-Soualhi, "A Raman spectro-microscopic investigation of ETFE-based radiation-grafted anion-exchange membrane", RSC Adv., 7, 47726 (2017).

Y. Lu, L. Wang, K. Preuss, M. Qiao, M.-M. Titirici, J. R. Varcoe, Q. Cai, "Halloysite-derived nitrogen-doped carbon electrocatalysts for anion exchange membrane fuel cells", J. Power Sources, 372, 82 (2017).

T. J. Omasta, L. Wang, X. Peng, C. A. Lewis, J. R. Varcoe, W. E. Mustain, "Importance of balancing membrane and electrode water in anion exchange membrane fuel cells", J. Power Sources, 375, 205 (2018).

J. R. Varcoe featured in W. Germer, "International experts meet in Germany to discuss trends in anion exchange membranes", Fuel Cell Bulletin, volume 2014, Issue 10, pp. 12-15.

T. P. Pandey, A. M. Maes, H. N. Sarode, B. D Peters, S. Lavinia, Ki Vezzu, Y. Yang, S. Poynton, J. R. Varcoe, S. Seifert, M. Liberatore, V. Di Noto, A. Herring, "Interplay between water uptake, ion interactions, and conductivity in an e-beam grafted poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) anion exchange membrane", Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17, 4367 (2015).

A. Ong, K. K. Inglis, D. K. Whelligan, S. Murphy, J. R. Varcoe, "Effect of cationic molecules on the oxygen reduction reaction on fuel cell grade Pt/C (20%wt) catalyst in potassium hydroxide (aq, 1 mol dm-3)", Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 17, 12135 (2015).

S. D. Poynton, R. C. T. Slade, T. Omasta, W. E. Mustain, R. Escudero Cid, P. Ocón, J. R. Varcoe, "Preparation of radiation-grafted powders for use as anion exchange ionomers in alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells", J. Mater. Chem. A, 2, 5124 (2014).

C. A. Hancock, A. Ong, P. R. Slater, J. R. Varcoe, "Development of CaMn1-xRuxO3-y (x = 0 and 0.15) oxygen reduction catalysts for use in low temperature electrochemical devices containing alkaline electrolytes: Ex situ testing using the rotating ring-disk electrode voltammetry method.", J. Mater. Chem. A, 2, 3047 (2014).