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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Dr Rachel McKerracher PhD, MChem

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Rachel McKerracher's photo

Dr Rachel McKerracher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Experimental Officer within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Her work focuses on developing nanomaterials for application in novel batteries, to meet the demand for new types of high-performance battery to power electric vehicles and to store electricity generated from renewable sources. As part of EU-funded research and in collaboration with several partners, she has developed an iron-air battery system, producing air electrodes that can withstand high currents and have excellent longevity. These air electrodes could also be used generically in other promising metal-air systems such as zinc-air or aluminium-air.

Another main area of her research is an EU-funded project to develop cathode and anode materials for aluminium-ion batteries, which could be competitive with lithium-ion as they experience fewer safety issues and have a higher theoretical capacity. Her earlier research for her doctoral thesis focused on the use of electron microscopy to study the formation mechanisms of metal oxide nanotubes- a unique class of materials which have applications in many fields such as solar cell construction, medical technology and protective coatings.

 

Research group

Energy Technology

Research project(s)

NECOBAUT: iron-air redox flow battery

Normally iron corrodes when exposed to air and humidity and has to be protected by painting it, using corrosion inhibitors or by passing a cathodic current through it (cathodic protection). These methods avoid the oxidation of iron into a rusty iron oxide. However, in this project, a novel investigation of the oxidation of iron, combined with the reduction of oxygen is used to generate energy.

ALION, A Low-Cost Aluminium-Ion Battery

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Dr Rachel McKerracher
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 25/2033

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