Szymon passes his PhD viva – 28th June 2022

Many congratulations to Szymon who passed his PhD viva with minor corrections! Szymon’s PhD thesis studied cobalt-based oxygen electrocatalysts. A lot of struggle along the way, but well done Szymon! And thanks so much to Caroline Knapp (UCL Chemistry) and Mike Reece (Queen Mary) for taking the time to read his thesis and being such good examiners, too!

Festival of Communities – June 2022

The group had a fantastic time at the Festival of Communities, held at QMUL Mile End Campus on the 12th June 2022. Our stand ReCharge showcased the world of batteries and how to use sustainable resources to produce sustainable devices. People attending were able to light an LED building a lemon battery, also understand a bit about what a redox flow battery is. We showed how candyfloss is somewhat similar to the process we use to produce our fibres from biomass that will then become electrodes for batteries! The little ones had lots of fun with the giant jenga we built following the paper by E. Driscoll from Birmingham. It was a great success!

Thanks Hattie, Eneith, Pavel, Szymon, Michael, Jesus and Mauricio for all your efforts in making it possible!

Welcome to Mauricio!

We welcome Mauricio to the group! Mauricio received his PhD from University of York a few weeks back and joins the group as a PDRA as part of my Future Leaders Fellowship on Sustainable Electrode Materials for Redox Flow Batteries. He will be working with us for the next 3 years developing new understanding on effective design of biomass-derived materials for their application as electrodes in energy storage, in particular flow batteries. More about Mauricio here.

Group hike – The Chess Valley

Amazing weather last Friday 20th May 2022! Great for our group hike around the Chess Valley. We managed to do the 15 km that we set ourselves to do – just not the exact path we intended. 😀 it was good fun, though! We will try again soon!

Ana participates in the Pint of Science 2022

Ana had a fantastic time presenting her work in sustainable materials for energy at this year’s Pint of Science. The audience was able to produce energy enough to light an LED and to make candyfloss – similar to how we produce fibres in our lab! Thank you all for a great evening!

Congratulations to Ana for being awarded a Royal Society International Exchanges Grant with MIT

Ana has been awarded a Royal Society International Exchanges Grant with MIT.

This grant (March 2022 – March 2024) will start a new collaboration with Prof Brushett from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering Department) and his team. During this collaborative project Prof Brushett and several members of his team will visit our facilities and work in our labs to develop new understanding on electrode materials for redox flow batteries. Likewise, Ana Sobrido and several members of her research group will visit Brushett group’s facilities and acquire new knoweldge in stack testing and techno-economic analysis of the introduction of biomass-waste electrodes and replacement of commercial carbons.

The award will be the foundation for further collaborative research.

New publication by Gengyu!

Efficient Harvesting and Storage of Solar Energy of an All-Vanadium Solar Redox Flow Battery with a MoS2@TiO2 Photoelectrode

J. Mater. Chem. A
, 2022 DOI: 10.1039/D2TA00739H

Gengyu Tian, Rhodri Jervis, Joe Briscoe, Madga Titirici and Ana Jorge Sobrido*


Solar redox flow batteries constitute an emerging technology that provide a smart alternative for the capture and storage of discontinuous solar energy through the photo-generation of the discharged redox species employed in traditional redox flow batteries. Here, we show that a MoS2-decorated TiO2 (MoS2@TiO2) photoelectrode can successfully harvest light to be stored in a solar redox flow battery using vanadium ions as redox active species in both catholyte and anolyte, and without the use of any bias. MoS2@TiO2 photoelectrode achieved an average photocurrent density of ~0.4 mA cm-2 versus 0.08 mA cm-2 for bare TiO2, when tested for the oxidation of V4+ to V5+, attributed to a more efficient light harvesting and charge separation for the MoS2@TiO2 relative to TiO2. The designed solar redox flow cell exhibited an optimal overall solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of ~4.78%, which outperforms previously reported solar redox flow batteries. This work demonstrates the potential of MoS2@TiO2 photoelectrode to efficiently convert solar energy in to chemical energy in a solar redox flow battery, and it also validates the great potential of this technology to increase reliability in renewable energies.