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1st Workshop & Progress Meeting of POLYSTORAGE-ETN Project


The first online Workshop of the MSCA ITN-ETN POLYSTORAGE organized by the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and co-organized by the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany) was held the 1st of October. The POLYSTORAGE project involves the production of highly innovative polymeric electrolytes and active polymeric materials for advanced post-lithium batteries and benefits of different beneficiaries (12 incl. 2 companies) and 11 associated entities (incl. 9 companies). IMDEA Energy participates in the consortium training two Early Stage Researchers in the development of redox active polymers for different battery technology.

This event started by a trainer workshop for early stage researchers (PhD candidates) within the ITN network about “Safeguarding good scientific practice & gender awareness". Second part of the workshop was an open to public scientific lecture session about “Polymers & Batteries” with prominent speakers listed below:

• Polymer batteries - Ulrich S. Schubert, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
• Conjugated redox polymers - Rebeca Marcilla, IMDEA Energy
• High output synthesis - Michael Schneider, Chemspeed Technologies AG, Switzerland
• UV-photopolymerization - Jijeesh R Nair Politecnico di Torino
• Block copolymers - Irune Villaluenga, University of the Basque Country
• New polymer electrolytes - David Mecerreyes, University of the Basque Country, Spain

More than 100 researchers attended the event!
Among the speakers, Rebeca Marcilla Senior Researcher from ECPU Unit presented quite interesting results about conjugated redox polymers applied as electrode materials. The presentation included results recently achieved in the field of the synthesis and application of antraquinone-based polymers in half-cell configuration.

New Anthraquinone‐Based Conjugated Microporous Polymer Cathode with Ultrahigh Specific Surface Area for High‐Performance Lithium‐Ion Batteries A. Molina, A.; Patil, N.; Ventosa, E.; Liras, M.; Palma, J.; Marcilla, R. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2020, 30 (6), 1908074

Electrode Engineering of Redox-Active Conjugated Microporous Polymers for Ultra-High Areal Capacity Organic Batteries; A. Molina, N. Patil, E. Ventosa, M. Liras, J. Palma, and R. Marcilla, ACS Energy Letters 2020 5 (9), 2945-2953

The ECPU would like to welcome to our team to Rebecca Grieco. She is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the ETN-POLYSTORAGE training network.

The ECPU would like to welcome to our team to Rebecca Grieco. She is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the ETN-POLYSTORAGE training network. She obtained her Master degree in Analytical Chemistry at Sapienza University of Rome. Besides she was working in a Italian national agency for new technology, at the department of ENEA Casaccia. She has experience in the synthesis of layered spinel materials to be used as cathodes in lithium-ion cells. Therefore at IMDEA ENERGY institute she will make her phD in the field of the synthesis of conjugated porous polymers with a large surface area, and also she will combine those polymers with redox active groups.

Foto Rebecca Grieco  

The ECPU would like to welcome to our team Dr. Paula Navalpotro and Dr. Santiago E. Ibáñez who will work on Redox Flow Batteries

The ECPU welcome two postdoctoral researchers: Dr. Santiago E. Ibáñez and Dr. Paula Navalpotro. Dr. Santiago E. Ibáñez works on the development of simplified models of a broad field of fluid mechanics problems. Dr. Paula Navalpotro has experience studying new redox organic materials and electrolytes for being applied in electrochemical energy storage devices. Both have a postdoctoral position and participate in the ERC MfreeB project.

Check out their short bio in our people section: Dr. Paula NavalpotroDr. Santiago E. Ibáñez.

   Paula y Kike

Membrane-Free Aqueous Batteries, a Sustainable Energy Storage Solution

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Membrane-Free Aqueous Batteries, a Sustainable Energy Storage Solution

Redox Flow Batteries (RFB) stand out as a promising energy storage technology to mitigate the irregular energy generation from renewable sources. Some technical merits stand out the Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs) when compared to conventional batteries such as their scalability and the total decoupling of energy and power. However, one of the most important limitations that obstruct their massive penetration into the market is the high price of some of the current components of RFBs, specifically, the scarce and, in some cases also toxic, metallic compounds that are used as active species (V, Cr, etc) and the poor-performing ion-exchange membranes that are necessary to avoid the electrolytes cross-mixing. Different approaches have been proposed in the last years to overcome these problems. Among them, the substitution of metallic redox species by sustainable, abundant and tunable organic redox molecules is attracting an increasing interest among the scientific community. Regarding the problematic membrane, the mere substitution of ion-selective membranes by inexpensive porous separators is emerging as a new trend in RFBs. In those systems, the huge and unavoidable crossover of active species though the separator is mitigated, in some extent, by using mixed electrolytes. However, this approach causes a large and implicit loss of material utilization because half of the active species is unusable.

Making use of a disruptive approach, Dr. Rebeca Marcilla, senior researcher in IMDEA Energy, is leading a ERC Consolidator Grant project (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/726217/es) aiming to eliminate any type of membrane or separator in RFBs. Her research group is developing a novel concept of Membrane-Free Battery based on the immiscibility of two electrolytes and in which the metallic active compounds were substituted by organic redox molecules.

In their last article, in collaboration with the group of Prof. Joao Coutinho (University of Aveiro, Portugal), they report the first example of Total Aqueous Membrane-Free Battery. There, they develop an aqueous biphasic system (ABS) containing organic redox compounds with proper redox potentials and suitable partitioning coefficients. They demonstrate the feasible application of this novel membrane-free concept in an Aqueous Biphasic Systems (ABS) which behaves as an unprecedented Total Aqueous Membrane-Free Battery.

P. Navalpotro, C. Trujillo, I. Montes, C.M.S.S. Neves, J. Palma, M.G. Freire, J.A.P. Coutinho, R. Marcilla* "Critical aspects of Membrane-Free Aqueous Battery based on two immiscible neutral electrolytes" Energy Storage Materials, 2020, 26, 400-407. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ensm.2019.11.011

Más información: Rebeca Marcilla This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Investigadora Senior de la Unidad de Procesos Electroquímicos. https://www.energia.imdea.org/research_units/


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Baterías Acuosas sin membrana, una solución de almacenamiento de energía sostenible

Las baterías de flujo redox (RFB) constituyen una prometedora tecnología de almacenamiento de energía para mitigar la generación intermitente de energía a partir de fuentes renovables. Algunos méritos técnicos con respecto a otras baterías convencionales como las de Li-ión son su escalabilidad y el desacoplamiento total de energía y potencia. Sin embargo, una de las limitaciones más importantes que dificultan su penetración masiva en el mercado es el alto precio de algunos de los componentes actuales como son las especies activas basadas en metales (generalmente escasos y, en algunos casos también tóxicos) así como las membranas selectivas de intercambio iónico. Estas membranas son necesarias para evitar la mezcla cruzada de especies activas de los electrolitos pero son caras y en muchos casos ineficaces. Desde la comunidad científica se han propuesto diferentes estrategias para superar estos problemas. Entre ellas, la sustitución de especies redox metálicas por moléculas redox orgánicas, sostenibles, abundantes y baratas. Con respecto a la problemática membrana, la mera sustitución de membranas selectivas de iones por separadores porosos más económicos está emergiendo como una nueva tendencia en RFB. En estos sistemas, los problemas derivados del inevitable cruzamiento de las especies activas, se mitigan en cierta medida, mediante el uso de electrolitos que contienen las mismas especies en ambos compartimentos. Sin embargo, esto supone un desaprovechamiento del material activo puesto que la mitad de las especies activas empleadas no contribuyen al almacenamiento neto de energía.

Utilizando un enfoque disruptivo, la Dra. Rebeca Marcilla, investigadora principal de IMDEA Energía, lidera un proyecto ERC Consolidator Grant (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/726217/es) que tiene como último objetivo eliminar cualquier tipo de membrana o separador en baterías de flujo redox. Su grupo de investigación está desarrollando un nuevo concepto de batería sin membrana basado en la inmiscibilidad de dos electrolitos y en el que los compuestos metálicos activos se sustituyan por moléculas redox orgánicas.

En su último artículo, en colaboración con el grupo del Prof. Joao Coutinho (Universidad de Aveiro, Portugal), publican el primer ejemplo de batería sin membrana que utiliza dos electrolitos acuosos inmiscibles. En este trabajo desarrollan un sistema bifásico acuoso (ABS) que contiene compuestos redox orgánicos con propiedades electroquímicas (potencial redox) y termodinámicas (coeficientes de reparto) optimizadas. Demuestran por primera vez la aplicación factible de este novedoso concepto sin membrana en un sistema bifásico acuoso que se comporta como una batería reversible con excelentes propiedades electroquímicas y de sostenibilidad.

P. Navalpotro, C. Trujillo, I. Montes, C.M.S.S. Neves, J. Palma, M.G. Freire, J.A.P. Coutinho, R. Marcilla* "Critical aspects of Membrane-Free Aqueous Battery based on two immiscible neutral electrolytes" Energy Storage Materials, 2020, 26, 400-407. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ensm.2019.11.011

More information: Rebeca Marcilla This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Senior Researcher at Electrochemical Processes Unit. https://www.energia.imdea.org/research_units/


Optimised Battery Production and Nanoscale Testing: Launch of EU Research Project NanoBat

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New nanotechnology solution to increase competitiveness of the e-mobility battery sector in Europe

The EU research project NanoBat aims to develop a novel nanotechnology toolbox for quality testing of Li-ion and beyond Lithium batteries with the potential to redefine battery production in Europe and worldwide. The targeted radio frequency (RF)-nanoscale techniques will be faster and more accurately calibrated than existing methods. The project will significantly reduce the costs of battery production thus greatly benefiting the evolving clean energy and e-mobility transition in Europe. The consortium comprises twelve academic and industrial partners and will receive EUR 5 million EU funding over the next three years.

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