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Current research

Current Research

Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 (CO2RR) project

The development of transition metal oxide (TMOs) electrodes with the optimum condition in a cost-effective manner is essential for constructing commercially viable devices for energy production. Among the available methods to fabricate TMOs, the hydrothermal process is a unique method to produce several materials for energy production (e.g. electrocatalysis, photoelectrochemical cells (PEC), and solar cells) due to various intrinsic advantages. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant greenhouse gas that assists to trap heat in our atmosphere.  During the past few decades, a gradual increase in CO2 emissions in atmosphere resulting in serious global warming and other environmental hazards. In this project, the development of mesoporous metal oxide will be prepared using a facial approach. These metals oxide will be used as electrocatalysts for CO2RR. In particular, the highly-ordered structure of the mesoporous SnO2 based catalysts favors the advancement of generation of carbon monoxide (CO) and format during the CO2RR. This project is led by Prof. Juan Bisquert as a project manager.

   

Synthesis and characterization of novel multifunctional mesoporous nanocatalysts for improved hydrocarbon oxidation and fuel-cell applications

Nanostructured catalysts are widely used in very important processes related to crude oil and natural gas refining, renewable energy production, the fine chemical industry, biosensors, and fuel-cell reactions. Nanocatalysts can tremendously enhance the rate of chemical reactions because the surface area is greater than that of a bulk material. A key objective of nanocatalysts synthesis is to produce catalysts with extremely high activity, high selectivity, and low energy consumption that are multifunctional and have long lifetimes. Additional challenges are (i) cost reduction through improvements in production processes and minimizing the amounts of reagents used, (ii) better sustainability, and (iii) better control of architectures through the combination of metals in a controlled manner. This project addresses these challenges by introducing methods for achieving precise control over the size, shape, surface area, and composition of nanocatalysts.

Mesoporous nickel/nickel hydroxide catalyst using liquid crystal template for ethanol oxidation in alkaline solution, Mohamed A. Ghanema, Abdullah M. Al-Mayouf , Jai P. Singh, Twaha Abiti, Frank Marken, J. Electrochem. Soc. 162 (7) 2015, H453-H459; doi: 10.1149/2.0441507jes.

 

 

Electrochemical method of production of hydrogen peroxide using TONs, filed patent number: 32315.74. 

Screening and characterizations of new photo-catalytic materials for solar water-splitting hydrogen production

Solar energy is an abundant raw material, and the development of new conversion technologies based on photosynthetic mimics is important. The solar conversion of water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel is an “entry technology” with a versatile range of applications in hydrogen fuel. This project focuses on the fundamental aspects of the solar water-splitting process and the screening and characterization of new, sustainable semiconductor materials based on metal oxide-halides for hydrogen production using solar water splitting. The new semiconductor materials are tunable in composition, size and morphology. The project will (i) develop spectroscopy and electrochemical performance screening tools, (ii) explore the efficiency and types of photo-electrolysis products, (iii) investigate deposition methods and nano-architecture effects and (iv) allow research team members to gain practice, skills and knowledge in the field of solar hydrogen production.

Electrophoretic deposition method of fabrication of photoanode and its corresponding SEM image and photoelectrochemical studies 

 

 

 

 

 

Templated Nanostructuring of Mesoporous Ion exchange Materials for environmental Application.

This project aims to develop a new method for the synthesis of novel multi-components nonsiliceous mesoporous materials such as ion exchangers that have highly ordered porous structures and different phase structures at nanometer length scales for improved and higher ionic exchange properties.  This can achieve by direct precipitation reactions from lyotropic liquid crystal templating (LLCT). In conventional precipitation reactions, soluble cations are mixed with soluble anions to form an insoluble precipitate. In our method, the aqueous solution will be replaced by a compound capable of forming a lyotropic liquid crystalline phase. The cations and anions combine to form a precipitate within the aqueous channels of the liquid crystal phase, such that the nano-architecture of the phase templates guided the formation of mesoporous inorganic precipitates. The surfactant is then removed either by heating or by extraction using a solvent, leaving the inorganic nonsiliceous mesoporous precipitates. The synthetic strategy is particularly advantageous for the production of new complex (multi-component) inorganic mesoporous materials that might have an application on the field of environment, adsorption, separation, catalysis or energy storage and production.

 

TEM images of Mesoporous Ti-W oxides.