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Chinese scientist wins grant to boost research

Posted on 25 Oct 2019 and read 794 times
Chinese scientist wins grant to boost research A Chinese scientist from Imperial College London (www.imperial.ac.uk) has been awarded a 1.5 million euro grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to further his research into ‘flow batteries’.

Song Qilei, from Imperial’s department of chemical engineering, is researching next-generation cost-effective redox flow batteries — large energy storage devices that could power cities.

A typical flow battery consists of two tanks of electrolytes that are pumped past a membrane held between two electrodes.

The membrane separator allows ions to transport between the tanks while preventing the cross-mixing of the electrolyte solutions.

Mr Qilei has developed a battery membrane (a key component that improves the performance and lifetime of the flow battery) that is up to 16-times cheaper to produce than the current types.

He said the research could help accelerate developments in renewable energy, mitigate climate change and solve the mismatch between intermittent supply of renewable energy and the variable power grid.

The project involves collaborations with researchers at Imperial College London, University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge, and institutions in the European Union and China.

Mr Qilei, who described the research as a ‘dream project’, said: “This grant will enable me to expand my team and move into new areas to pursue ground-breaking fundamental research in renewable energy conversion and storage.

"Our research will have a great impact for the development of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, as well as the hydrogen economy, and contribute to sustainable development in Europe and the world.”