Bernal Institute Research Forum

Date: 2nd February 2018 to 2nd February 2018
Time: 13:00 to 14:00
Duration: One hour
Location: MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension

Dr Alberto Varzi, Helmholtz-Institute Ulm (HIU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

Towards Greener Electrochemical Energy Storage Devices: A Materials Perspective

Electrochemical energy storage devices (EESDs), in particular lithium ion batteries (LIBs) and electrochemical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), are nowadays being employed in a continuously rising number of applications. Storing energy produced via renewable sources and re-using it on demand has become today’s reality, while electrically powered vehicles will likely represent the normality in the very near future. This leads to a rapidly growing market for such devices, raising, at the same time, concerns about the impact their production and disposal could have on the environment. Hence, many efforts are ongoing to develop environmentally friendly devices constituted by cheap, abundant, safe and, possibly, non-toxic materials. This presentation will give an overview of some of the possible strategies to decrease the environmental impact of EESDs, yet boosting their electrochemical performance. Different aspects will be covered, from material design to electrode processing: electrodeposited zinc-based alloys anodes for lithium-ion batteries; all-solid-state lithium-sulfur batteries and green non-fluorinated binders for aqueous electrode processing. A special focus will be on synthesis, morphology, physico-chemical and electrochemical characteristics of these advanced materials, and on the open challenges to enable their practical application.

Alberto Varzi is a senior scientist at the Helmholtz-Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), whose research focusses on electrochemical energy storage devices such as lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors. He studied Chemistry of Materials at the University of Bologna, Italy and graduated in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Mastragostino, with a thesis on catalysts and membranes for direct methanol fuel cells. He continued his education in Germany and received a PhD in 2013 from the University of Ulm, working with Dr Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens on carbon nanotubes for lithium-ion battery applications. He then joined as a post-doc the group of Professor Passerini at the Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET) research center of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, where he developed environmentally friendly materials for high power devices. He is co-author of more than 27 peer-reviewed papers, 2 patents, and received close to 1200 citations, with h-index of 12 and i-10-index of 15.

Tea/coffee will be available at 12h45

For further information, please contact: kevin.m.ryan@ul.ie