Panyu Ren present a poster with the titlte “Carbon additives: friend or foe of capacitive deionization with activated carbon?” at the ISE topical meeting in Stresa, Italy.

Thanks to the creativity of Uwe Bellhäuser and the patience and positive energy of our whole team, we are happy to launch now our new team feature video – to share our team’s excitement about research and to showcase the real heroes and heroines of science: the people of our group! Enjoy the video and get inspired… to join us. 🚀 Explore! Create! Apply!

Jonas Oehm presents a poster with the title “On the development of a digital data management platform for battery material and processing data?” at the 245th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society in San Francisco (USA).

Panyu Ren gives a poster presentation on the topic “Carbon additives: friend or foe of capacitive deionization with activated carbon?” at the 37th Topical Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) in Stresa, Italy.

It is a tradition at the Natural Science Faculty of Universität des Saarlandes to have the annual PhD Day in the Aula. This year, 60 PhD student presented their research, ranging from artificial muscles, to much real mucus, from 3D printed nanofluids to very solid metals, from quantum communication to quorum sensing inhibitors. From our team:

Nikolaos Papadopoulos shared his insights into electrochemical modelling.
薛丽颖 introduced us to the concept of high-entropy battery electrodes.
Jean Gustavo De Andrade Ruthes demonstrated the exciting field of gel electrolytes.
Panyu Ren taught us the value of electrochemical ion separation.
And Le Thao presented the latest results from our collaboration with the spherogel team of Michael Elsaesser on hybrid carbon spherogels for battery applications.

Welcome Prof. Dominik Barz from Queen’s University (Canada) for his 1-month research visit to our laboratory to work on supercapacitors with us. We thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the funding of the visit.

Volker Presser attended the RIC2D symposium “unlocking the challenges of water scarcity: 2D materials in action” and gave an oral presentation on “Electrochemical Desalination with MXene”.

Nikolaos Papadopolous presents a poster at the Advanced Battery Power Conference in Münster, Germany with the title “Electrochemical Modeling of Gr/Si Lithium-Ion Batteries with prolonged Relaxation Times considering Kinetic, Mechanical, and Geometric Cell Characteristics”.

The IOP Journal “Materials Futures” has included our paper led by alumnus Qingsong Wang in the collection of the “Materials Futures 2023 Best Paper Award”.

J. Wang, S.L. Dreyer, K. Wang, Z. Ding, T. Diemant, G. Karkera, Y. Ma, A. Sarkar, B. Zhou, M.V. Gorbunov, A. Omar, D. Mikhailova, V. Presser, M. Fichtner, H. Hahn, T. Brezesinski, B. Breitung, Q. Wang, P2-type layered high-entropy oxides as sodium-ion cathode materials, Materials Futures 1(3) (2022) 035104.

Welcome EEIGM student Bachir Tall, who will be working on supercapacitors during his 2-month internship.

Dr. Stefanie Arnold was selected to attend the 2024 edition of the prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. She is one of only 650 young scientists selected in a highly competitive process from across the globe. This year, the topic is physics and Stefanie’s positive energy and visionary research perspective will enrich the LINO24!

Congratulations to Stefanie! Her poster “High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries with High Stability Derived from Titanium-Oxide- and Sulfur-Loaded Carbon”, a direct result from our collaboration within the FWF-DFG project SPHEROGELS, won 2nd place in the Energy Category at the 2024 RSC Poster competition!

Link to the original publication:

New paper in Carbon on hydrogen densification in carbon nanopore confinement: Insights from small-angle neutron scattering using a hierarchical contrast model from our long-term collaboration with Oskar Paris (Montanuniversität Leoben).

New paper published in Langmuir on emerging frontiers in multichannel membrane capacitive deionization. Spearheaded by our group alumni Choonsoo Kim, together with Hyunjin Kim, Seonghwan Kim, and Byeongho Lee from Kongju National University, our joint work dives deep into the advancements and future prospects of MC-MCDI technology. We explore how this innovative approach not only pushes the boundaries of efficiency and sustainability in addressing global water scarcity but also sets new benchmarks for electrochemical desalination.

Volker Presser gives a seminar talk with the title “Electrochemical desalination and Lithium-ion extraction” at the École normale supérieure on invitation of former group member Lucie Ries.

New battery published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces on hybridization of carbon spherogels with titanium oxide and sulfur enables high performance lithium-ion battery electrodes. As a result from our research project with Michael Elsaesser from the Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, we introduce a novel approach to enhancing lithium-ion battery electrodes. We have successfully combined titanium oxide and sulfur with carbon spherogels, achieving high performance in terms of stability and capacity. Our method resulted in electrodes combining high charge storage capacity and electrical conductivity, while maintaining a core-shell morphology. The process involved producing carbon spheres encapsulating titania and sulfur using a template-assisted sol-gel route, followed by thermal treatment with hydrogen sulfide gas. This treatment fully preserved the microporous hollow sphere architecture of the carbon shells, facilitating sulfur deposition and titania crystal protection.

New review paper published in Desalination. Our manuscript examines various Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technologies, a response to increasing lithium demand driven by its extensive use in batteries for diverse applications. Traditional lithium extraction methods, including mining and evaporation ponds, pose significant environmental challenges and may not suffice to meet global demand. DLE offers a potentially more efficient and sustainable alternative, akin to the impact of shale extraction on the oil industry. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of DLE techniques such as adsorption, ion exchange, membranes, direct carbonation, and electrochemical processes. It assesses their operational fundamentals, advantages, and limitations. The research aims to evaluate DLE’s capacity for efficient and sustainable lithium recovery amidst rising energy sector demands, addressing associated challenges like cost, environmental impact, and scalability. The findings intend to enrich understanding of DLE’s potential and hurdles, guiding future research in this critical technological area.

New paper published in Energy Advances from our continued collaboration with Michael Elsaesser (Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg) on carbon spherogels. Custom-designed nanoporous carbon materials enhance sustainable electrochemical technologies by offering better performance and efficiency. Carbon spherogels, which are highly porous carbon aerogel materials made up of a network of hollow carbon nanospheres with consistent diameters, are particularly promising. They offer unique advantages, including superior electrical conductivity, customizable porosity, adjustable shell thickness, and extensive surface area. In this work, we present a new, eco-friendlier approach to producing carbon spherogels using a sol-gel process that templates resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) with polystyrene spheres in an organic solvent. By adjusting the molar ratio of resorcinol to isopropyl alcohol (R/IPA) and the polystyrene concentration, we identified the optimal conditions for creating carbon spherogels with tunable wall thicknesses. A simplified solvent exchange method from deionized water to isopropyl alcohol was developed to reduce surface tension in the gel’s pores, making this method both time and cost-efficient. The use of isopropyl alcohol, with its lower surface tension, allows for solvent extraction at room temperature and direct carbonization of RF gels with less than 20% loss in specific surface area compared to those dried supercritically. The resulting materials have specific surface areas ranging from 2300 to 3600 m2/g, as confirmed by transmission and scanning electron microscopy, which also demonstrated their uniform, hollow spherical network structure. Notably, these carbon spherogels act as high-performance electrodes for energy storage in supercapacitors, achieving a specific capacitance of up to 204 F/g at 200 mA/g with a 1 M potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution as the electrolyte.

Stefanie Arnold presents work on electrochemical lithium ion battery recycling at the LithiumDays 2023 in Halle, Germany.

Behnoosh Bornamehr has successfully defended her thesis with the title “Derivatization and design of transition metal oxides and sulfides for advanced and sustainable battery technology”.