Research in Battery Materials and Technologies
The research group of Battery Materials and Technologies, led by associate professor Pekka Peljo, is developing next generation stationary energy storage technologies, mostly based on redox flow batteries. We are an experimental group focusing on discovery of new materials, aided by our collaborators utilizing advanced computational tools, and developing novel testing methods to accelerate materials testing.
Our research areas:
- Stationary energy storage in redox flow batteries
- Understanding charge transfer at interfaces
- Energy storage and conversion
This project funded by Academy of Finland (2018–2023) focuses on demonstrating the concept of solid boosters for flow batteries, as well as developing tools to characterize charge transfer with the solid boosters.
The BioFlow-project (2019–2023) develops safe and sustainable flow batteries for large-scale energy storage, based on bio-inspired organic molecules, in collaboration with Prof. Petri Pihko, University of Jyväskylä. This project is funded by Academy of Finland.
We are coordinating this EU-project. CompBat (2020–2023) will focus on developing tools for discovery of new prospective candidates for next generation flow batteries, based on machine learning assisted high-throughput screening. We are also developing computational tools for simulating batteries at the cell and stack level.
Partners: Dr. Imre Papai (Természettudományi Kutatóközpont, Hungary), Prof. Kari Laasonen (Aalto University, Finland), Prof. Daniel Brandell (Uppsala Universitet, Sweden), Prof. Umberto Desideri (Universitá di Pisa, Italy), Prof. Keith Stevenson (Skolkova Institute of Science and Technology, Russia) and Prof. Petri Pihko (University of Jyväskylä, Finland).
We are coordinating this research project (2020–2024) to study heat generation with hydrogen-metal systems.
The EU-funded Bi3BoostFlowBat project (2021–2025) will develop cost-efficient batteries featuring low cost, optimal redox potential and high solubility. The project plans to achieve this by introducing several strategies, including utilization of solid boosters, bio-inspired materials, biphasic systems and bipolar membranes, to find the best compounds that will lead to the desired results.
Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation awarded us a homing grant in 2019 to help to improve the research infrastructure in our lab. We will use this grant to improve our flow battery testing systems, and to build a scanning electrochemical microscope.
The DIGIPOWER project (2020–2023) will develop digital technology enablers based on advanced computational modelling and machine learning to screen prospective molecular candidates to realize scalable, inexpensive and sustainable energy storage based on redox flow batteries, focusing on metal compexes. It is funded by the Future makers program of Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.
The collaborators include Prof. Kari Laasonen (Aalto University) and Prof. Petri Pihko (University of Jyväskylä).
We are starting again some work on photoproduction of hydrogen at liquid-liquid interfaces! We will collaborate with Prof. Marcin Opallo (Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences), and Prof. Hubert Girault (EPFL), with our part focusing on development of photoelectrochemical flow cells for such systems. This project (2020–2023) is funded from the Solar-Driven Chemistry network initiated by the German Research Foundation - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). From Finland the funding organization is Academy of Finland.
The green transition requires solutions for the storage of renewable energy. Flow batteries are one promising technology for this purpose, but current solutions require vanadium and will therefore always be too expensive. Materials based on renewable or abundant raw materials are therefore needed to replace vanadium. Candidates must meet several criteria: sufficient energy density and stability, as well as cost-effective production, but suitable molecules have not yet been developed. FlowXAI develops tools for screening huge sets of molecules using both computational chemistry and machine learning. The methods are complemented by targeted organic synthesis and automatic flow battery chemical testing and preparation.
The EU-funded DualFlow project will introduce a radically new energy conversion and storage concept. The breakthrough idea involves combining battery storage, hydrogen generation and production of useful chemicals into a single hybrid system using water-soluble redox mediators as energy transfer vectors. The system will be used for storing electricity or for converting renewable energy into hydrogen and value-added chemicals. The energy conversion operation will be realised by pumping charged electrolytes through reactors. For hydrogen production, the reactor will be filled with particles to catalyse electron transfer and hydrogen evolution. Ultimately, the production of value-added chemicals will be enabled by a reactor comprising a biphasic system.