NAGORE ORTIZ VITORIANO

NAGORE ORTIZ VITORIANO

RESEARCH LINE MANAGER

Objective

Our goal is to develop a fundamental understanding and practical solutions in new, metal-air batteries chemistries (Na-air, Zn-air, etc.) to enable breakthroughs in stationary and mobile battery applications.

Description

Our research line is focused on developing next-generation metal-air batteries (Na-air and Zn-air) to move beyond lithium-ion (beyond Li-ion), particularly concerning battery performance, lifetime, and safety. We aim to exploit the promise of these batteries – which possess high theoretical specific energies and offer considerable potential gains – by exploring new battery chemistries with enhanced energy densities (compared to those currently available). We are interested in probing the most fundamental aspects (e.g., catalysis of ORR and OER; solvation chemistry, electrolytes) while also considering their practical implementation in mobile and stationary applications. Considerable challenges, however, must be addressed before widespread commercial exploitation is possible - one of the greatest of which relates to the rechargeability of these devices.

A deep and fundamental understanding is required in order to drive the reactions towards efficient energy storage. We, therefore, employ state-of-the-art techniques (such as spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance) to study the complex chemical and electrochemical processes occurring in these systems. We also focus on building new approaches to better understand electrode materials and electrolytes through the development of experimental and computational models, which facilitate further advancements in this field and research in general.

Our research line is currently focused on both sodium-air batteries (Na-air batteries) and zinc-air batteries (Zn-air batteries) variants and devoted to advancing these new chemistries by exploring:

  • Novel graphene-based cathode materials as an alternative to conventional gas diffusion layers.
  • Understanding solvation in Na-O2 batteries to enable novel electrolyte formulations.
  • Solving problems associated with sodium and zinc anodes such as dendrite formation.
  • Novel biopolymer gel electrolytes to overcome the water loss in aqueous electrolytes.

Current projects include: i) fundamental characterization, ii) graphene cathode utilization, iii) novel electrolyte formulations for Na-O2 batteries with excellent cyclability, and iv) novel biopolymer electrolytes for rechargeable aqueous Zn-air batteries. Our research comprises not only fundamental research, but also the collaboration with industry to provide practical solutions which either result in products with added value, or new systems ripe for exploitation in the marketplace.