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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K015540/1
Title: Energy Materials-Discovery, Characterisation and Application
Principal Investigator: Irvine, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Savaniu, Dr CD Cassidy, Dr M Connor, Dr PA
Zhou, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: Platform Grants
Starts: 07 January 2013 Ends: 06 January 2018 Value (£): 1,046,968
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Oct 2012 Platform Grant Interviews 22 October 2012 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The St Andrews group addresses a wide range of energy related issues such as fundamental electrochemical and solid state chemical studies, development of new and improved fuel cell technologies, providing new energy solutions and integrating new concepts in device application. This research seeks to develop high temperature electrochemical technologies to enable the efficient deployment of new energy frameworks. We seek to optimise current fuel cell technology improving durability and stability and reducing cost of manufacture to enable widespread introduction. A major focus is developing new anode formulations to enable efficient utilisation of more complex fuels, ranging from natural gas and LPG through biogas to liquid biofuels and biomass. Fuel cell technology is a particularly important enabler for biomass utilisation offering high efficiencies of conversion in fairly small unit sizes and is essential to new distributed energy economies.

The group has been very successful in addressing the proposed research objectives of the currently held Platform grant Particular highlights are insitu exolution of nanocatalysts, nanostructural ripening of impregnated electrodes, high performance direct carbon fuel cell performance and a new red photocatalyst. The operation of the Platform also enabled us to strongly engage with EU and especially industrial funding.

Staff development is an important part of the Platform grant programme and all of the Investigators and researchers have advanced their careers significantly during the last 4 years. Those postdocs working on commercially sensitive projects were able to maintain their publication output via partial platform support and key skill researchers were given stability of contract. Researchers have moved to both industry and academic appointments. In the renewal we wish to bring in Prof Wuzong Zhou to enhance our capability in transition Electron Microscopy in particular.

We intend to build upon our achievements in the current platform and to develop new and exciting strands of research. Particular emphasis will be placed upon developing capability in materials processing study interfaces under operational relevant conditions. Research priorities will relate to energy storage through reversible fuel cells and synthetic fuel production, nanoengineering of electrode interfaces, developing new functional materials and in situ studies.

The platform grant provides an invaluable cohesive element to the group, it gives excellent career stability, allows exciting developments to be followed and provides excellent opportunities for our researchers to encounter a wide range of highly important current research in a strongly multidisciplinary environment. Researchers will be encouraged to explore new directions and to seek collaboration opportunities with leading researchers and facilities worldwide. To enable this we propose to run regular workshops and provide means to facilitate study visits to external laboratories. Through both of these mechanisms researchers will be able to extend their technical skills and develop independent collaborative networks.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk