Oil reserves are dwindling, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing at an unmatched dizzying pace and levels of pollution in mega cities are unbearable. All these problems are rooted in the way we power our economies; that is still mainly by fossil fuels. Hence, newly engineered green materials based on renewable and abundant resources as well as less energy consuming processing strategies are highly needed. This field of research on sustainable materials and processes for energy harvesting, conversion and storage devices gave birth to the Green Chemistry community.
Our group at Imperial College London, led by Magda Titirici, is part of this community. We work on materials solutions that are based on renewable, rather than fossil, resources. We apply these sustainable materials in key technologies for a more sustainable future:
- Energy storage: Li+ and Na+ ion batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells
- Gas storage: CO2 capture
- Energy Harvesting: Carbon Quantum dots as solar cell sensitizers
- Renewable Chemicals: Chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass
For the manufacture of the vast array of materials we apply environmentally benign processing methods, like hydrothermal carbonization and electrospinning. After synthesis and characterization, we test our materials in the target applications on a full device level. Thus, we cover the entire process chain from the raw material to the final application which gives us the opportunity to tailor materials properties towards the final application.
Rather than replacing materials made from fossil resources, biomass derived materials exhibit new properties complementing and very often outperforming their fossil counterparts. More detailed information about the individual research areas you may find in the corresponding dropdown entries.