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The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Electrochemical Engineering Group

The research interests of the Electrochemical Engineering laboratory range from synthesis and characterisation of new electrode materials through to the design of industrial electrochemical reactors such as fuel cells and redox flow batteries. The laboratory collaborates closely with the Engineering Materials research group in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment and also the Electrochemistry and Surface Science Group in the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences. Many of the research projects are carried out with the Research Institute for Industry (RIfI).

Expertise and research interests

Energy conversion

Development of improved redox flow cell components (lead-acid, vanadium-vanadium and zinc-cerium systems).  Engineering of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), characterization of membrane and electrode materials for PEMFCs.  Improvements in electrocatalysts and reactor design for direct borohydride fuel cells.  Electrochemical reactor design and reaction environment in cells.

Nanomaterials for energy conversion

Synthesis, microscopy and electrochemistry of nanostructured titanium dioxide, protonated titanates and other transition metal oxides.  These materials are being evaluated as hydrogen storage media and as electrocatalyst supports for borohydride and other fuel cells.

Corrosion and surface engineering

Marine corrosion engineering and flow simulation; mass transport, potential distribution and fluid dispersion in electrochemical reactors; selection and use of electroplated and anodised coatings for the engineering and electronics industries.  Electroplating of metals, alloys and composites; metal protection; current, flow and potential distributions in rotating, porous and three-dimensional electrodes.

Electrochemical technology and engineering

Industrial troubleshooting, characterisation of energy materials and process developments via the Research Institute for Industry (RIfI)

Funding

Funding has been provided by DSTL, EPSRC, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Ltd. and a number of other industrial organisations.  Previous Department of Trade and Industry funded projects on aspects of electrochemical energy conversion have been carried out in partnership with organizations such as C-Tech, E-Connect, EON, ESD, Ionbond Ltd, Ineos Enterprises, Intelligent Energy and Scottish Power.

Staff
Affiliated staff

Professor T R Ralph (Johnson Matthey Fuel Cell)
Professor J B Lakeman (DSTL Power Sources)

Our research strengths

Electrochemical engineering

Solar energy

Maritime energy

Electromechanical energy

Materials for energy

Energy management and control

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