Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Electrochemical Energy Conversion

The research group investigates and develops materials and devices for electrochemical energy conversion and storage. Meeting the production and consumption of electrical energy is one of the major societal and technological challenges when increasing portion of the electricity production is based on intermittent renewable sources, such as solar and wind power. Moreover, increase in usage of off-grid portable devices and electrifying traffic increase the need for electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices.
Litium ion batteries

Our research areas:

  1. Electrochemical energy conversion materials and devices; in particular electrocatalysts and electrode materials for such applications as polymer electrolyte fuel cells and electrolyzers, lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors
  2. Reduction of the utilization of non-earth-abundant-elements without sacrificing the electrochemical device performance
  3. Understand structure – activity – durability interrelations of the active energy conversion materials. Hence, our work covers material synthesis, material structural and electrochemical characterization and integration in laboratory-scale devices

Electrochemical energy storage can be one solution to the increasing of the need for electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices .Thus, the Electrochemical Energy Conversion research group investigates and develops materials and devices for these applications. Our aim is to understand functioning of these to improve the existing ones and to develop alternative solutions.

Our research is focused on investigating polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) and electrolysers as well as lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors and covers synthesis, characterization and integration of new materials. Alongside functionality of the materials and devices, we are interested in their durability and degradation mechanisms as well as optimization of above mentioned technologies for their applications.

Research highlights:

Responsible (or sustainable) energy conversion and storage is one of the key issues for large-scale utilization of intermittent renewable energy sources. We want to foster and contribute this energy transition by developing those critical technologies:

  • By developing materials for responsible energy conversion and storage
  • By reducing or replacing critical raw materials in electrochemical energy conversion applications

 

Our highlight publications:

  • Development of novel nanomaterials for catalysis through a novel CVD synthesis method for the growth of carbon encapsulated transition metal nanoparticles (CEMNs) decorated on carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Read more here
  • Novel electrochemical modification of transition metal nanoparticles, and carbon nanomaterials for synthesizing active catalysts for OER. Read more here
  • Novel synthesis of pseudo atomic-scale Pt catalyst materials decorated on carbon nanotubes for catalytic applications. Read more here

The CREATE Project

The ever-expanding demand for renewable energy spotlights electrochemical prowess. Feasible technologies for generating and storing green power have already entered the market. However, they rely heavily on critical raw materials such as cobalt in batteries and scarce platinum-group metals (PGM) in electrochemical converters, which inhibits large-scale deployment in the long term.

This project unites several global contributors in the field, sharing the same target: developing PGM-free and ultra-low-platinum MEAs that will comprise the hearts of electrolysers and fuel cells. (While the former device is designed to store intermittent solar and wind energy in hydrogen gas, the latter will release the energy by oxidizing the gas whenever needed.) Aalto contributes strongly to both the synthesis and the characterization of the desired electrocatalysts for the pertinent electrochemical reactions.

Read more about CREATE project

The ELCOREL project

The aim of the project is to train young researchers in all scientific and technological aspects of the storage of renewable electricity into fuels and chemicals.  The scientific aim is to develop and upscale novel catalysts meeting specific activity and selectivity targets for oxygen evolution and CO2 reduction. The involvement of two industrial partners ensures rapid application of the fundamental science in electrochemical technology.

Read more about ELCOREL project

The USVA project

Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is one possible route to mitigate climate change since it uses the abundant greenhouse gas CO2 as starting material to produce important fuels and chemicals. However, there remains much work to find selective, highly active and robust catalyst materials for larger scale electrochemical CO2 reduction.

In USVA, we aim to develop electrocatalyst materials by using simple synthesis methods, earth-abundant elements and other cheap raw-materials to reduce CO2 into value added chemicals such as formic acid. The focus of the project is to design, synthesize and thoroughly characterize novel electrocatalysts which would express high selectivity and activity towards electrochemical reduction of CO2. We also aim to reveal mechanistic insights into the effects that govern the selectivity and activity of our electrocatalyst materials to further increase our understanding of electrochemical CO2 reduction and to enable rational design of new catalysts.

The project is funded by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

Read more about the project

Past projects:

The research group:

Tanja Kallio
Professor Tanja Kallio

Associate Professor Tanja Kallio, research group leader:

My professorship is Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and my research focuses on electrochemical energy conversion materials and devices. For widespread adoption of renewable, intermittent energy technologies, various efficient and sustainable electrochemical energy conversion and storage alternatives are needed. 

In my group, we contribute to this effort by investigating and developing in particularly electrocatalysts and electrode materials for such applications as polymer electrolyte fuel cells and electrolyzers, lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors.

The core theme is reduction of the utilization of non-earth-abundant-elements without sacrificing the electrochemical device performance. As an alternative approach, strategies to increase the lifetime of the critical active materials is studied.

To achieve our goals, we aim to understand structure – activity – durability interrelations of the active energy conversion materials. Hence, our work covers material synthesis, material structural and electrochemical characterization and integration in laboratory-scale devices. This includes also post-mortem analysis of the active materials to investigate degradation mechanism. To obtain fundamental understanding on complex phenomena, we carry out these investigations in close collaboration with groups specialized in modelling and advanced structural characterization technologies.

Research group members

Zahra Ahaliabadeh

Doctoral candidate
T105 Chemistry and Materials
Syed Ali

Syed Ali

Tohtorikoulutettava
T105 Chemistry and Materials
Ekaterina Fedorovskaya

Ekaterina Fedorovskaya

Postdoctoral researcher
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Sara Hamed

Research assistant

Nana Han

Postdoctoral researcher

Md Hossain

Doctoral candidate
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Md Hossain

Doctoral candidate
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Benjin Jin

Research assistant
Tanja Kallio

Tanja Kallio

Associate professor
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Xiangze Kong

Visiting Doctoral Candidate
Janez Kosir

Janez Kosir

Doctoral candidate

Junjie Shi

Doctoral candidate
Group picture_Electrochemical Energy Conversion
The EEC research group

Related content:

Uudentyyppisten akkujen testauksessa käytetty komponentti. Kuva: Aleksi Poutanen / Aalto-yliopisto

Smarter energy

From research into electro-chemical conversion to creating policy for demand-response planning, Aalto University is working on ways to develop smarter and more sustainable energy grids

News
Katalyyttien sähkökemialliseen tutkimiseen käytetty laitteisto / Kuva: Glen Forde

Put the brakes on climate change – producing high-grade chemicals from carbon dioxide

A study aiming to use CO2 as, for example, transport fuel have received significant funding from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

News
Tanja Kallio

Seed funding enabled new approaches in renewable energy research

Seed funding is a stepping stone to cooperation with other research groups, and a great channel to test your ideas.

Aalto Energy Platform
Doctoral student Fatemeh Davodi is applying drops of ink containing catalyst on an electrode, which will be attached to a measuring instrument. Photo: Glen Forde/Aalto Energy Platform

Searching for alternative and sustainable solutions for renewable energy storage

Mitigation of climate change requires increasing the use of renewable energy and the development of storage.

News
Sami Tuomi and Tanja Kallio with some solar panels. Photo: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Banking sun and wind energy

How to make the storing of renewable energy cheaper and easier? If this study is successful, it will represent a major leap towards finding a solution to climate change.

News

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum

Researchers succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts with one hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed.

News

Researchers developed a cost-effective and efficient rival for platinum

Researchers succeeded in creating an electrocatalyst that is needed for storing electric energy made of carbon and iron.

News

Research project on renewable energy storage receives sought-after funding from Horizon 2020

Aalto University’s share of the funding is about half a million euros.

News
Tanja Kallio / Kuva: Anni Hanen-Kajander

A maker of better materials

Professor Tanja Kallio develops ecological, safe and affordable materials for batteries and electrocatalysts.

News

Past events:

Workshop on Catalytic Reactions with Ion Transfer through Interfaces

Welcome to Workshop on Catalytic Reactions with Ion Transfer through Interfaces (ITICAT2019), organized in August 15 - 17, 2019, as a pre-conference of EuropaCat2019. 

ITICAT2019 logo/Yingnan Zhao

Latest publications

Ultrafast, high modulation depth terahertz modulators based on carbon nanotube thin films

Maria G. Burdanova, Gleb M. Katyba, Reza Kashtiban, Gennady A. Komandin, Edward Butler-Caddle, Michael Staniforth, Aram A. Mkrtchyan, Dmitry V. Krasnikov, Yuriy G. Gladush, Jeremy Sloan, Albert G. Nasibulin, James Lloyd-Hughes 2021 Carbon

Detecting Cooking State of Grilled Chicken by Electronic Nose and Computer Vision Techniques

Fedor S. Fedorov, Ainul Yaqin, Dmitry V. Krasnikov, Vladislav A. Kondrashov, George Ovchinnikov, Yuri Kostyukevich, Sergey Osipenko, Albert G. Nasibulin 2021 FOOD CHEMISTRY

A complex study of the dependence of the reduced graphite oxide electrochemical behavior on the annealing temperature and the type of electrolyte

A. A. Iurchenkova, Egor V. Lobiak, Anna A. Kobets, Alexey N. Kolodin, Ash Stott, Ravi P. Silva, Ekaterina O. Fedorovskaya 2021 Electrochimica Acta

A numerical performance study of a fixed-bed reactor for methanol synthesis by CO2 hydrogenation

Daulet Izbassarov, Judit Nyári, Bulut Tekgül, Erkki Laurila, Tanja Kallio, Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio, Ossi Kaario, Ville Vuorinen 2021 International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

New insights in Al-doping effects on the LiNiO2 positive electrode material by a sol-gel method

Xiangze Kong, Donglin Li, Ekaterina O. Fedorovskaya, Tanja Kallio, Xuqiang Ren 2021 International Journal of Energy Research

A Study of the Composition and Structure of a Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI) Formed on the Surface of Electrode Material Based on SnOx/[email protected] Nanocomposite

P. M. Korusenko, S. N. Nesov, V. V. Bolotov, S. N. Povoroznyuk, E. O. Fedorovskaya 2021 PROTECTION OF METALS AND PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY OF SURFACES

A new aqueous all-organic flow battery with high cell voltage in acidic electrolytes

P. Leung, T. Martin, Q. Xu, Cristina Flox Donoso, M. R. Mohamad, Jesus Palma, A. Rodchanarowan, X. Zhu, W. W. Xing, A. A. Shah 2021 Applied Energy

Competitive role of nitrogen functionalities of N doped GO and sensitizing effect of Bi2O3 QDs on TiO2 for water remediation

Saima Noor, Shamaila Sajjad, Sajjad Ahmed Khan Leghari, Cristina Flox, Saeed Ahmad 2021 Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)

Electronic transitions of SWCNTs in comparison to GO on Mn3O4/TiO2nanocomposites for hydrogen energy generation and solar photocatalysis

Saima Noor, Shamaila Sajjad, Sajjad Ahmed Khan Leghari, Cristina Flox, Tanja Kallio, Esko I. Kauppinen, Saeed Ahmad 2021 New Journal of Chemistry

Redox flow batteries : Status and perspective towards sustainable stationary energy storage

Eduardo Sánchez-Díez, Edgar Ventosa, Massimo Guarnieri, Andrea Trovò, Cristina Flox, Rebeca Marcilla, Francesca Soavi, Petr Mazur, Estibaliz Aranzabe, Raquel Ferret 2021 Journal of Power Sources
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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