SIRE Achievements Highlighted at International Electrochemistry Conference

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The Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy (SIRE) was recently represented at the International Society of Electrochemistry’s 37th Topical Meeting held in Stresa, Italy, from June 9th to 12th, 2024.

The theme of the conference was ‘‘Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies for a Greener and More Sustainable Future Society,’’ featuring oral presentations and posters on advances in lithium- and beyond lithium-based batteries, as well as developments in electrolyser and fuel cell technologies for hydrogen production and conversion.

Professor Laurence Hardwick, the director of SIRE, was invited to give a talk on the application of Raman spectroscopy for studying battery interfaces. Laurence highlighted how this technique has deepened our understanding of these highly dynamic interfaces, showcasing work by several researchers in SIRE and international collaborators.

PhD student Thukshan Samarakoon from the Hardwick group also gave a talk focusing on lithium-oxygen batteries—a battery chemistry offering significantly greater energy storage capabilities than conventional Li-ion systems but currently limited by poor cycle life.

Thukshan demonstrated the importance of pressure measurements during cell cycling as a key diagnostic tool for assessing the extent of degradation reactions, which informs the design of improved electrolytes for enhanced cycle life.

Thukshan had this to say:

"I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to present our work on lithium-oxygen batteries at an international electrochemistry conference, and to have met the wider research community working on various electrochemical energy storage technologies. Through this meeting I developed my understanding of the fundamental and practical challenges that currently limit next-generation battery chemistries intended to replace lithium-ion batteries, and the significant progress that has been made towards overcoming these hurdles. To top it all off, to have won a prize for my presentation at the conference made the whole experience all the more rewarding."

Many congratulations to Thukshan for being awarded an oral presentation prize for his talk!