New materials for sustainable development and energy
Our research within sustainable development and energy
The change towards a more sustainable society, using renewable energy with no or a very low carbon dioxide foot-print, is a critical challenge human kind must meet. This requires not only new technical solutions, but also the development of new materials. For example, we need materials which can give better performing and longer lasting fuel cells, or improved capabilities to store energy in e.g. batteries or as hydrogen in alloys. Essential for the materials that will meet this challenge is also that they consist of abundant elements, so that the developed technology can be implemented in a large scale. Thus, replacement of critical elements, which are detrimental for the environment or too expensive for practical use, is also an essential goal of this research.
Metal Hydrides for compression and storage
Hydrogen is special compared to other energy storage technologies in that it can fill roles in almost all aspects of the modern energy system so tailoring new metal hydrides is a true scientific challenge of high societal importance. We explore novel high entropy alloys and hydrides for application in systems for hydrogen production, compression and storage.
New coatings for fuel cells
Fuel cells which hydrogen and oxygen to produce electric energy have an interesting potential in a future sustainable society where hydrogen is an important energy carrier. A problem here is that bipolar plates with the gas flow channels usually are made of stainless steel which corrodes in the extreme environment inside the fuel cell. We are developing new coating materials which can protect the bipolar plates.
Rare-earth free magnetic materials
Magnetic materials are a vital component in energy generation and conversion in modern day society. The most powerful magnets currently available are based on rare-earth minerals, which are a contested resource that is expensive to extract, both in terms of money and the impact on the environment. Though many applications do not require magnets be as powerful as the currently known rare-earth ones, there is a lack of materials that are sufficiently powerful yet cheap enough. By developing and investigating potential structures not containing rare-earth minerals this gap in materials is sought filled.
New battery materials
This research deals with fundamental electrochemistry and the development of materials and electrochemical methods that can be used in e.g. Li-based batteries and supercapacitors. Electrochemical techniques are used to manufacture materials and to study the electrochemical properties (including the corrosion resistances) of different materials.
Materials for energy conversion
To create a energy system based on renewable energy, improved and new solutions for energy conversions are required. This also requires new materials, both those that are directly involved in the energy conversions, such as photocatalysts, or photon absorption materials for photo voltaics; but also other materials needed to create complete devices operating in real-life conditions. Within the research programme of inorganic chemistry, research is conducted into new semiconductor materials by solution chemistry, as well coating materials with tuneable optical properties with applicability fore renewable energy conversion.