Better batteries using earth-abundant elements

Supervisory team: Dr Dawei Wang

Description: Lithium ion batteries are the dominant type of battery on the modern market. The price of lithium ore has experienced sharp growth in the past years, primarily due to the scarcity of lithium in earth crust.

This project aims to build new batteries using earth-rich elements, such as Sodium, Magnesium and Sulfur. These new batteries are promising not only due to their natural abundance, but most importantly for their capacity of storing more energy than lithium ion batteries (usually 3 times more).
Versatile characterization methods (XRS, FTIR, EQCM, TEM, ect.) will be adopted.
Successful applicant to this project will work within a team including the academic supervisor, postdoctoral research fellow and PhD students.

Expected Outcome:
The project will allow students to work in a team to develop solutions to an elusive real world problem. The research is expected to lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Significant improvement in catalyst performance may even lead to a start-up company! The project will train students in synthesis, characterization and activity testing techniques, preparing for future career in industry and/or higher degree research.

Suitable for: Chemical Engineers and Industrial Chemistry students. 

Level of difficulty: Very Challenging

Reference: please contact Dr Da-Wei Wang (da-wei.wang@unsw.edu.au) for reference and if you have any questions.