Direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFC) convert the chemical energy of liquid alcohol directly into electricity. This type of fuel cell creates the potential for a simple, low-cost, compact and high energy-conversion system that is highly efficient and clean.
Of the various energy conversion and storage devices, rechargeable Li batteries and percapacitors are considered the most promising candidates to power next generation electric vehicles. The ever-increasing demands for higher energy/power densities of these electrochemical storage devices have led to search for novel electrode materials. This project aims to study different nanocarbon materials, in particular, carbon nanotubes, graphene nanosheets, graphene foams and electrospun carbon nanofibers, along with metal oxides.
Adsorption refrigeration is a green technology in which the system can be powered by low-grade heat energy, such as solar energy and/or low-grade waste heat. The system does not rely on traditional refrigerants (e.g. HCFCs and HFCs) or compressors. Advanced composite adsorbent material developed at HKUST is very economical, creates no pollution during operation and disposal and can be recycled.
This project area aims to develop and investigate the next generation of sensitized solar cells with high efficiency, low cost, high stability and green impacts. A conceptually new quantum well sensitizer for semiconductor sensitized solar cells has been proposed and nicely demonstrated by developing a quasi-quantum well structure supported on tetrapods.
This project aims to reduce lead-acid batteries’ sulfation problem and enhance its cycle life through addition of graphene into electrodes. It also explores the fundamental electrochemical mechanism of the interface between graphene and active material, as well as its impact on the battery performance.
The most striking feature of flow batteries is that, for a given power pack with a rated power, the energy capacity can be increased by increasing the volume of the energy-storage tanks to meet the requirements of particular applications, without a change in the cell. This system scalability, along with other unique characteristics, makes flow batteries a promising solution to the energy storage challenge of many types of renewable energy systems with intermittent sources, such as wind and solar power.