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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K016954/1
Title: Electrochemical Energy Storage with Graphene-Enabled Materials
Principal Investigator: Dryfe, Professor RAW
Other Investigators:
Kinloch, Professor IA Hardwick, Professor L Forsyth, Professor A
Todd, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Her Majesty's Government Communications Johnson Matthey Morgan Advanced Materials and Technology
QinetiQ Rolls-Royce Plc Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd
Technical Fibre Products Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2013 Ends: 31 January 2019 Value (£): 2,190,025
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Energy Storage
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2012 Graphene Engineering Interview Announced
31 Oct 2012 Graphene Engineering Sift Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. The exceptional physical properties of graphene have attracted enormous interest since its experimental isolation and initial characterisation in 2004, notably its intrinsically high surface area and its unique electronic properties, as manifested by through its high conductivity. Amongst the myriad applications foreseen for this material, exploitation in electrochemical energy storage with supercapacitors or batteries ranks as one of the most prominent.

De-carbonising the national, and indeed global, energy supply is a goal driven by rising fossil fuel prices and concerns over air pollution and anthropogenic climate change. For such de-carbonisation to make greater use of "renewable" energy sources requires new methods of storing and converting that energy. This general background, along with the widespread increase in usage of personal electronic apparatus (mobile phones, lap-tops) has driven an enormous renewal of interest and development of electrochemical (battery and supercapacitor based) energy storage, which is the technological motivation for this project. Ironically, such (potentially) de-carbonised energy stores are highly dependent on carbon as a constituent storage material. Supercapacitors are based on the storage of electrical energy within the electrical double-layer formed at high surface area electrodes, whereas certain types of battery are dependent on carbon, either as one of the electrodes or as a conducting additive used to complete the circuit to the electrodes.

There are considerable challenges to be addressed en route to incorporating graphene into these energy storage devices however: two specific problems, apparent in much of the vast body of recent work on graphene and energy storage, are: (a) the "graphene" is generally of poor quality and variable dimensions, and (b) frequently only minimal effort is made to control the architecture of the graphene in the resultant device. Consequently, we are still some way off the routine incorporation of graphene within battery and supercapacitor electrodes, as either composites for immobilisation or conductivity, or as primary electrode materials. The goal of this proposal is to remedy these deficiencies by iteratively designing, manufacturing and testing graphene-based batteries and supercapacitors.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk