Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage

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:

  • Hydrogen evolution in alkaline medium on intratube and surface decorated PtRu catalyst. Read more here.
  • Understanding the Stabilizing Effects of Nanoscale Metal Oxide and Li–Metal Oxide Coatings on Lithium-Ion Battery Positive Electrode Materials. Read more here.
  • Temperature dependent product distribution of electrochemical CO2 reduction on CoTPP/MWCNT composite. Read more here.
  • A platinum nanowire electrocatalyst on single-walled carbon nanotubes to drive hydrogen evolution. Read more here
  • Reuse of LiCoO2 Electrodes Collected from Spent Li-Ion Batteries after Electrochemical Re-Lithiation of the Electrode. Read more here

NextGenBat

Funded by Business Finland, the Next Generation Battery Materials and Concepts project will develop materials and their processing technologies for solid-state lithium batteries (SSLB). The project combines the expertise of multiple Finnish research organizations and private companies.

Read more about NextGenBat project

SOLiD

The problem: Sustainable manufacturing of Gen. 4b solid-state batteries (SSBs) with a minimized amount of critical raw materials (Co and Li), and with superior performance and safety is a major challenge in today’s battery research. Lithium-ion battery (LiB) cells with conventional active materials are reaching their limits in terms of energy densities. Also, safety issues arise with the utilization of liquid organic electrolytes which is becoming even more critical with the introduction of advanced materials to increase cell voltage and fast charging rates. Hence, there is an urgent need for the development of innovative scalable manufacturing technologies based on new solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) that can also be combined with metallic lithium at the anode, leading to significantly enhanced energy density.

The SOLiD project aims to create a sustainable and cost-efficient pilot scale manufacturing process for a high energy density, safe and easily recyclable solid-state Li-metal battery (LMB).

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

The HERMES Project

To answer the urgent need for carbon-free energy, disruptive options should be considered. The loading of deuterium into palladium-based materials under certain conditions, could result in the production of excess heat, leading to a breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation. The HERMES gathers the expertise from six multidisciplinary European laboratories, focusing on the fundamentals of the palladium-hydrogen system, the synthesis of new, well-controlled, palladium-based materials, and the calorimetric study of the deuterium loading into palladium using Seebeck calorimeters.
The contribution from Aalto University aims at

  1. giving a better experimental understanding of the hydrogen absorption into palladium nanoparticles in a fuel cell setup, using electrochemical characterization techniques;
  2. studying the isotope effect by changing the dihydrogen supply to deuterium;
  3. designing the Seebeck calorimeters and conducting the calorimetric studies. 

The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Read more about HERMES Project

The Hydrogen Lung Project

The scientific goal of the HydrogenLung action is to accelerate mass diffusion for Hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR: H2 →2H+) by modifying superhydrophilic [email protected] nanoarray electrode with lung-like multistage aerophilic gas channels (MAGC). As the gas diffusion step determines the rate of most HOR, the specific structure will accelerate the reaction with great promise. By developing new wettability structure and verifying its effect on HOR, we will offer a method to accelerate mass transfer for all gas-consuming triphase catalysis. This scientific action involves both fundamental research of HOR and applied research of hydrogen fuel cell. It is an interdisciplinary study between chemistry (electrochemistry) and physics (surface physics).

Read more about Hydrogen Lung Project

The LESGO project

Electricity generation based on renewables is unpredictable, but hydrogen (H2) could be a promising energy storage route. Since over 95% of H2 comes from breaking the carbon-hydrogen bond in hydrocarbons, storing hydrogen bound to carbon may provide a long-term solution. However, extracting hydrogen from liquid hydrocarbons includes CO2 emissions. To address this problem, the EU-funded LESGO project aims to store energy in the C-H bond of reduced graphene oxide (rGO-H). The advantages of rGO-H include safe storage, easy transportation, an energy density over 100 times larger than that of H2 gas and no CO2 emissions in the electricity generation process. The project will promote an affordable and eco-friendly means of supplying electrical power on demand where required.
 

Read more about LESGO project

The BATCircle project

The BATCircle ecosystem consists of key Finnish research and industrial actors involved in the battery metals sector with a total budget of 22 M€. The ecosystem has been formed under Business Finland's “Batteries from Finland” program. The cooperation effort is expected to lead to the formation of a domestic battery metals ecosystem that follows the principles of circular economy. One of the important topics of this ecosystem is research on preparation and performance of “precursors and active materials” which are used in the production of electrode materials of lithium ion batteries. This research is conducted by Aalto University, University of Oulu, University of Eastern Finland and GTK Geological Survey of Finland.
 

Read more about BATCircle

HiQ-CARB

The HiQ-CARB funding project aims to provide new carbons with superior performance and a low carbon footprint for lithium-ion batteries in Europe. Carbon is needed in batteries to improve the electronic conductivity of the cathodes and helps achieve fast charge and discharge rates. In HiQ-CARB, the carbon black is replaced by a new and more environmentally friendly acetylene black. For the project, high-purity conductive additives and high-quality carbon nanotubes are being developed and produced by the leading European material producers. The developed high quality carbon additives and carbon nanotubes will be used for the production of the high energy and high-performance cathodes. CUSTOMCELLS® will use the developed carbon additives to scale up electrode manufacturing and produce pilot cells with high power density and high energy density.
The project team of HiQ-CARB includes companies Arkema (France), Custom Cells (Germany) and Orion Engineered Carbons (Germany). Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Aalto University and the University of Bordeaux are involved in the scientific part of evaluation and testing of the new material combinations and the battery cells made from them. The HiQ-CARB project receives EU funding from EIT Raw Materials to scale up and validate these important battery materials.

Read more about HiQ-CARB

FinH2

Hydrogen business is increasing rapidly at the EU level and globally, and Finnish companies are figuring out their roles in this market. These companies need to build new competencies to develop their product and service portfolio to enter the global market with competitive and value-creating offerings. FinH2 will support the target by providing critical up-to-date knowledge and hands-on experience from the whole hydrogen value chain, from materials and components to system integration and hydrogen utilization. The export potential for Finland in electrolyzer technology is significant and estimated to be 3 B€ annually in 2030.

Read more about FinH2.

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

Zahra Ahaliabadeh

Doctoral researcher
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Nana Han

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Benjin Jin

Doctoral researcher
Tanja Kallio

Tanja Kallio

Associate Professor
T105 Chemistry and Materials
Anna Kobets

Anna Kobets

Research assistant
T105 Chemistry and Materials

Janez Kosir

Doctoral researcher
T105 Chemistry and Materials
Electrochemical energy conversion group
The EEC research group
Energy Conversion group fun
The EEC research group

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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

Extensive comparison of doping and coating strategies for Ni-rich positive electrode materials

Zahra Ahaliabadeh, Xiangze Kong, Ekaterina Fedorovskaya, Tanja Kallio 2022 Journal of Power Sources

Biowaste-derived electrode and electrolyte materials for flexible supercapacitors

Yazan Al Haj, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Daria Robertson, Maryam Borghei, Timo Pääkkönen, Orlando J. Rojas, Eero Kontturi, Tanja Kallio, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Chemical Engineering Journal

Hydrogen evolution in alkaline medium on intratube and surface decorated PtRu catalyst

Farhan S. M. Ali, Ryan Lacdao Arevalo, Matthias Vandichel, Florian Speck, Eeva-Leena Rautama, Hua Jiang, Olli Sorsa, Kimmo Mustonen, Serhiy Cherevko, Tanja Kallio 2022 Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

High performance silicon electrode enabled by titanicone coating

Zahilia Cabán Huertas, Daniel Settipani, Cristina Flox, Joan Ramon Morante, Tanja Kallio, Jordi Jacas Biendicho 2022 Scientific Reports

Comparison of methodologies to estimate state-of-health of commercial Li-ion cells from electrochemical frequency response data

Hoon Seng Chan, Edmund J.F. Dickinson, Tom P. Heins, Juyeon Park, Miran Gaberšček, Yan Ying Lee, Marco Heinrich, Vanesa Ruiz, Emilio Napolitano, Pertti Kauranen, Ekaterina Fedorovskaya, Jože Moškon, Tanja Kallio, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Ulrike Krewer, Gareth Hinds, Steffen Seitz 2022 Journal of Power Sources

In vitro toxicity of carbon nanotubes: a systematic review

Margarita R. Chetyrkina, Fedor S. Fedorov, Albert G. Nasibulin 2022 RSC Advances

Two orders of magnitude enhancement in oxygen evolution reactivity of La0.7Sr0.3Fe1−xNixO3−δ by improving the electrical conductivity

Lijun Fan, Eeva Leena Rautama, Johan Lindén, Jani Sainio, Hua Jiang, Olli Sorsa, Nana Han, Cristina Flox, Yicheng Zhao, Yongdan Li, Tanja Kallio 2022 Nano Energy

Quantum of selectivity testing: detection of isomers and close homologs using an AZO based e-nose without a prior training

Boris Goikhman, Fedor S. Fedorov, Nikolay P. Simonenko, Tatiana L. Simonenko, Nikita A. Fisenko, Tatiana S. Dubinina, George Ovchinnikov, Anna Lantsberg, Alexey Lipatov, Elizaveta P. Simonenko, Albert G. Nasibulin 2022 Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Gentle Patterning Approaches toward Compatibility with Bio-Organic Materials and Their Environmental Aspects

Artem K. Grebenko, Konstantin A. Motovilov, Anton V. Bubis, Albert G. Nasibulin 2022 Small

High-Quality Graphene Using Boudouard Reaction

Artem K. Grebenko, Dmitry V. Krasnikov, Anton V. Bubis, Vasily S. Stolyarov, Denis V. Vyalikh, Anna A. Makarova, Alexander Fedorov, Aisuluu Aitkulova, Alena A. Alekseeva, Evgeniia Gilshtein, Zakhar Bedran, Alexander N. Shmakov, Liudmila Alyabyeva, Rais N. Mozhchil, Andrey M. Ionov, Boris P. Gorshunov, Kari Laasonen, Vitaly Podzorov, Albert G. Nasibulin 2022 Advanced Science
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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