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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R023662/1
Title: ISCF Wave 1: (The JUICED Hub [Joint University Industry Consortium for Energy (Materials) and Devices Hub])
Principal Investigator: Darr, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Garner, Professor CP Kramer, Dr D Palgrave, Dr R G
Parkin, Professor IP Cora, Dr F Ding, Professor Y
Steinberger-Wilckens, Professor R Wijayantha-Kahagala-Gamage, Professor U Hayden, Professor BE
Russell, Professor A Slater, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AFC Energy Gwent Group Her Majesty's Government Communications
ITM Power plc Mast Carbon Ltd QinetiQ
Qioptiq Ltd Teer Coatings Ltd Thomas Swan
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 08 November 2017 Ends: 07 May 2021 Value (£): 1,832,222
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage Fuel Cell Technologies
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The proposal will develop one of the three UK energy materials hubs, which will carry out cutting edge research in close collaboration with industry in the development of materials up to demonstrator level (pre-commercial) devices. The hub will also have a major role in networking, training, educating in energy materials and devices across UK groups and industry, and will link-up and compliment existing energy related networks and groups to benefit the UK.

The "JUICED" Hub [Joint University-Industry Consortium for Energy (Materials) and Devices Hub] will focus its research on nano-enabled energy materials (ceramic materials on a scale of a billionth of a meter wide). Energy materials will be made and developed in applications, such as high performance batteries and similar energy storage devices for automotive, grid or consumer device applications, low cost materials for electrolysers (which use electrical energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel), fuel cells [devices which take chemical energy and can (sometimes) reversibly convert it to electrical energy]. Other energy materials of interest are materials which can scavenge low grade heat or energy and convert it into electrical energy or materials which can help store, transfer or regulate thermal energy.

The novelty in the hub's approach is that it will be able to considerably accelerate the development of new sustainable materials ;

(i) Use high throughput synthesis (making a large number of samples quickly in parallel or in series) and in many cases, computational methods (use of computers to simulate and understand and predict materials properties) and appropriate (rapid) screening of materials properties, which will identify lead materials in each application area

(ii) Laboratory-scale synthesis of the highest performing samples from above and testing to identify materials for larger scale syntheses

(iii) pilot scale syntheses and tests on samples on pre-commercial demonstrator devices, (in collaboration with industry or end users with a strong emphasis on replacing precious or unsustainable metals such as Pt, Ir, Ru, Pb, etc.).

How the research aligns with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund objectives;

The proposed energy hub aligns well to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund objectives as follows; the interactions with the industrial consortium in the hub will work with UK industry and accelerate discoveries of new advanced functional materials which will increase UK businesses' investment in R&D and improved R&D capability and capacity. The research in the hub, which covers aspects of materials, testing and characterisation as well as scale-up will lead to an increase multi- and interdisciplinary research around the challenge area of "clean and flexible energy", particularly in the design, development and manufacture of energy storage devices (batteries or similar devices) for the electrification of vehicles to support the business opportunities presented by the low carbon economy and tackle air pollution (e.g. new sustainable catalysts for oxygen evolution and reduction which can also be used in next generation batteries). Other areas that the hub covers that are which are linked to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund include "Manufacturing and Materials of the Future" (develop new, affordable, materials for advanced manufacturing sectors). Some of these materials are important components in devices which have applications also in Satellites and space technologies. The JUICED hub includes a number of scale-up and demonstrator activities and therefore this will lead to increased business-academic engagement on innovation activities relating to the same aforementioned challenge areas. The JUICED energy hub will include a number of larger and smaller companies and it will reach out to even more potential companies in the UK (SMEs and larger companies) with its workshops which will publicise capabilities.
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