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Center for Advanced Materials at QU Develop Cost-Effective High-Performance Battery Packs | Qatar University

Center for Advanced Materials at QU Develop Cost-Effective High-Performance Battery Packs

مركز المواد المتقدمة في جامعة قطر يعمل على تطوير عبوات بطاريات ذات جودة عالية وبتكلفة بسيطة

The world today faces calamitous consequences of decreased fossil fuel reserves headed towards their gradual depletion. The energy crisis and the associated environmental pollution have caused a profound interest in the efficient utilization of renewable energy resources. To fully harness the potential of renewable energy sources, the world needs high-performance energy storage devices. Successful contributions ranging from portable electronics to electric vehicles (EVs) and smart grid stations (SGs).

This has led to a new priority research area at the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM) at Qatar University (QU). In order to further explore the opportunities and expected future applications, active research on the design, development, and characterization of energy storage materials is in progress at CAM under the leadership of Dr. Abdul Shakoor.

The battery research group at CAM is oriented towards developing cost-effective energy storage materials utilizing microwave-assisted synthesis techniques. The objective of this modified synthesis technique is to substantially reduce the cost of batteries, facilitating easy commercialization of these batteries. Recently, a team of researchers at CAM published new articles in this field at the Journal of Alloys and Compounds and in the Journal of Applied Surface Science. More importantly, high voltage cathode materials (Li2NiPO4F) targeting ͠(~ 6.0 V) well suited to Qatar climate (55 ᵒC) have also been through a novel synthesis process, which is accepted/considered for US patent. The research group has published more than 25 journal articles on synthesizing and characterization various cathode/anode materials for lithium/sodium ion batteries, in addition to a book chapter. The research group has successfully obtained the fund required for this research through projects supported by QU and the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).

This applied research is in progress through various funded projects, mainly including: “Optimization of high voltage cathodes and electrolytes of lithium-ion batteries for grid applications in Qatar climate conditions,” “MXene decorated cathode materials for high-performance energy storage applications,” Advanced high voltage (~ 6.0 V) mixed anion fluorophosphate materials (Li2MPO4F) and MXene-based cathode/anode, which are developed and characterized owing to their promising performance. The promising electrochemical performance of the materials developed at CAM have enabled the team to produce full cylindrical cells to fabricate small battery packs for commercial applications.

The highly motivated research team, led by Dr. Abdul Shakoor at CAM, includes Mr. Zawar Qureshi (research assistant), Ms. Buzaina Moossa (graduate student), Ms. R.A. Harindi Gayara (graduate student), and undergraduate students (Mr. Abdul Moiz Ahmed, Mr. Ahsan Ishtiaq Qureshi, and Ms. Muntaha Elsadig Siddig Ali and others). The team at CAM is also actively collaborating with Prof. Siham Al-Qaradawi, Professor of Organic Chemistry at QU’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Prof. Ramazan Kahraman, Professor of Chemical Engineering at QU’s College of Engineering, to understand the charge/discharge behavior of developed cathodes/anodes in order to improve the performance of the batteries. The team is diligently trying to create a unique and cost-effective synthesis process, in addition to novel chemistries of electrode materials to fulfill the future energy requirement and widen the scope of application of batteries, resulting in a cleaner sustainable society, as promised in Qatar National Vision 2030.

The research team at CAM has collaborated with Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon, Portugal. Around 60% of the scientific publications at IST involve international collaborations with researchers from highly reputed research organizations. At IST, the research strategy spans from creative fundamental research to innovative applied solutions carrying the potential to be transferred to the industry. Their mission is to contribute to socio-economic development by delivering cutting-edge research outcomes, innovative products and solutions, and hands-on with the industry. Developing high-performance novel energy storage materials for industrial applications is at the core of research streams at IST. These activities strongly contribute to raising their cooperation with different partners from the research and industry sectors. The series of collaborative projects on energy storage materials between QU and IST has proven the implementation of international collaboration between both institutions.