Professor of Chemical Engineering with focus on electrochemical power sources
Electrochemical processes can come to play key roles in a future sustainable energy system. In an electrochemical reaction, there is conversion between chemical and electrical energy in either one or the other direction. Batteries and fuel cells are electrochemical power sources that generate electrical energy wherever it is needed, such as in mobile electronic devices, or to run vehicles.
Electrification of vehicles is one way of reducing the quantity of hazardous emissions. Another is to use the electrochemical process of electrolysis to produce environmentally friendly transport fuel. Electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power can be used to produce hydrogen from water via electrolysis, known as "power-to-gas". Electrolysis also allows energy to be stored as hydrogen for later use in e.g. fuel cells.
In order to make the electrochemical processes as effective as possible, much of the research focuses on understanding how electrodes, electrolytes and other components interact. Together with colleagues from other universities and industry, investigations are taking place into how materials and the design of the various components can be optimised, so as to reduce energy losses in the process. The research is also of great importance with regard to environmental and sustainability aspects, as well as economic considerations.