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
Chemistry and Materials
Syed Ali

Syed Ali

Tohtorikoulutettava
Chemistry and Materials
Ekaterina Fedorovskaya

Ekaterina Fedorovskaya

Postdoctoral researcher
Chemistry and Materials

Nana Han

Postdoctoral researcher

Md Hossain

Doctoral candidate
Chemistry and Materials

Md Hossain

Doctoral candidate
Chemistry and Materials
Tanja Kallio

Tanja Kallio

Associate professor
Chemistry and Materials

Eldar Khabushev

Visiting Doctoral candidate

Xiangze Kong

Visiting Doctoral Candidate
Janez Kosir

Janez Kosir

Doctoral candidate
Olli Sorsa

Olli Sorsa

Doctoral candidate
Chemistry and Materials
Group picture_Electrochemical Energy Conversion
The EEC research group

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Latest publications

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

Hybrid Low-Dimensional Carbon Allotropes Formed in Gas Phase

Saeed Ahmad, Kimmo Mustonen, Ben McLean, Hua Jiang, Qiang Zhang, Aqeel Hussain, Abu Taher Khan, Er Xiong Ding, Yongping Liao, Nan Wei, Mohammad R.A. Monazam, Albert G. Nasibulin, Jani Kotakoski, Alister J. Page, Esko I. Kauppinen 2020 Advanced Functional Materials

Express determination of thickness and dielectric function of single-walled carbon nanotube films

Georgy A. Ermolaev, Alexey P. Tsapenko, Valentyn S. Volkov, Anton S. Anisimov, Yury G. Gladush, Albert G. Nasibulin 2020 Applied Physics Letters

High Performance Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Catalyst Based on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Decorated by RuOx Nanoparticles

Fedor S. Fedorov, Daniel Settipani, Marthe Emelie Melandsø Buan, Jani Sainio, Farhan S.M. Ali, Daniil Ilatovskii, Tanja Kallio, Albert G. Nasibulin 2020 CHEMELECTROCHEM

Quasi-2D Co3O4 nanoflakes as an efficient gas sensor

Fedor S. Fedorov, Maksim A. Solomatin, Margitta Uhlemann, Steffen Oswald, Dmitry A. Kolosov, Anatolii Morozov, Alexey S. Varezhnikov, Maksim A. Ivanov, Artem K. Grebenko, Martin Sommer, Olga E. Glukhova, Albert G. Nasibulin, Victor V. Sysoev 2020 Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Development of a Sensing Array for Human Breath Analysis Based on SWCNT Layers Functionalized with Semiconductor Organic Molecules

Sonia Freddi, Aleksei V. Emelianov, Ivan I. Bobrinetskiy, Giovanni Drera, Stefania Pagliara, Daria S. Kopylova, Maria Chiesa, Giuseppe Santini, Nadia Mores, Umberto Moscato, Albert G. Nasibulin, Paolo Montuschi, Luigi Sangaletti 2020 ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS

Superior environmentally friendly stretchable supercapacitor based on nitrogen-doped graphene/hydrogel and single-walled carbon nanotubes

Evgeniia Gilshtein, Cristina Flox Donoso, Farhan Ali, Bahareh Mehrabimatin, Fedor S. Fedorov, Shaoting Lin, Xuanhe Zhao, Albert Nasibulin, Tanja Kallio 2020 Journal of Energy Storage

Electrochemical properties of nitrogen and oxygen doped reduced graphene oxide

Sean J. Hartmann, Anna A. Iurchenkova, Tanja Kallio, Ekaterina O. Fedorovskaya 2020 Energies

Fabrication and design rules of three dimensional pyrolytic carbon suspended microstructures

Joonas J. Heikkinen, Janez Košir, Ville Jokinen, Sami Franssila 2020 Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

Electrochemical syngas production from CO2 and water with CNT supported ZnO catalysts

Ida Hjorth, Yalan Wang, Yahao Li, Marthe Emelie Melandsø Buan, Magnus Nord, Magnus Rønning, Jia Yang, De Chen 2020 Catalysis Today
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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