Special Issue “Advanced energy storage, conversion and application materials”

Special Issue Editor

Xiubo Xie ,

* Correspondence: xiuboxie@ytu.edu.cn

School of Environmental and Material Engineering, Yantai University, No. 30 Qingquan Road, Shandong, 264005, China

Interests: Hydrogen generation and storage materials: Developing high performance hydrogen generation and storage materials, studying the mechanism of reaction of hydrogen and materials; Supercapacitors: Focusing on carbon-based materials derived from various biomass carbonization methods, as well as carbon-containing electrode materials such as metal sulfide, oxides, etc. Microwave absorption materials: Constructing effective microwave absorbers with light weight, strong absorption, thin thickness, and broad frequency characteristics to weaken the negative influences of electromagnetic radiation (Especially magnetic metals and their oxides). 

Special Issue Information

Aim and Scope: With rapid consumption of traditional fossil energy and increasingly environmental pollution all over the world,  developing effective energy storage, conversion and application materials is a hot research area nowadays. In the past decades, new energy technologies, such as hydrogen production, fuel cells and supercapacitors provide alternative way for future energy supply and utilization. To promote the commercialization process of the alternative energies, this special issue collects papers of clean energy storage and conversion devices, and provides researchers with an in-depth understanding of recent difficulties and progress in production, storage and application of clean energy.

Subtopics: Hydrogen generation, storage and applications; Supercapacitors including electrode material and electrode-electrolyte; Advanced fuel cells; Lithium ion, Sodium ion and metal air battery technology;

Keywords: Hydrogen generation and storage; Supercapacitors; Fuel cells; Renewable energy; Lithium ion battery technology;  Energy conversion devices.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020

Manuscript Submission Information

All submissions to Materials International should be made at review@materials.international. The corresponding author has the responsibility of the manuscript during the submission and peer-reviewing process. Please do not forget to state in the email “Subject” the title of this special issue.

Submission Checklist

  1. read the Aim & Scope to gain an overview and assess if your manuscript is suitable for this journal;
  2. use the Microsoft Word Template to prepare your manuscript;
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  4. please try to cite only articles with DOI (digital object identifier); also add DOI for each reference;
  5. please add at least 10 references from the last 2 years (2018-2019) in order to highlight the novelty of your work;
  6. ensure that all authors have approved the content of the submitted manuscript.

Published papers

(1) A Programmable Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Emulator Based on a DC-DC Synchronous Buck Converter


Chao-Tsung Ma 1, *, Zen-Yu Tsai 1, Chin-Lung Hsieh 2

1   Department of Electrical Engineering, CEECS, National United University, Miaoli 36063, Taiwan

2   Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER), Atomic Energy Council, 1000 Wenhua Rd. Jiaan Village, Longtan District, Taoyuan City 32546, Taiwan

* Correspondence: ctma@nuu.edu.tw; Scopus ID: 55734816100

(2) Oxygen Vacancies Enhanced Pseudocapacitive Charge Storage Performance of WO3-x Crystals


Hua Ma 1,2, Zhenguang Shen 1,3, Zhijian Peng 1,*, Bo Zhang 2, Jingwen Qian 1,2, Zengying Zhao 1, Xiuli Fu 2,*

1   School of Science, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, P.R. China

2   School of Science, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, P.R. China

3     Liaocheng Product Quality Supervision & Inspection, Liaocheng 252000, Shangdong Province, P.R. China

*  Correspondence: pengzhijian@cugb.edu.cn; Scopus ID: 56307402200

xiulifu@bupt.edu.cn; Scopus ID: 16042184600

Planned Papers

(1) Experimental study on the performance improvement for AO-LTPEMFC with different design parameters of gas diffusion layer

Research paper

Chen Zhao *, Shuang Xing, Wei Liu, Ming Chen, Jing Jiang, Haijiang Wang

* Chen Zhao (Corresponding Author)., Southern University of science and technology, Shenzhen 518055, China. E-mail:zhaochen913@163.com  tel.:+86-10-18911566376 

Shuang Xing, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Wei Liu, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Ming Chen, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Jing Jiang, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Haijiang Wang, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Abstract: Air-cooled open-cathode LTPEMFC (AO-LTPEMFC) has been developed as a new power source for UAV. However, the AO-LTPEMFC appears the lower cell performance than the liquid-cooled fuel cell due to poor operating conditions and unsuitable gas diffusion layer (GDL). The single fuel cell was assembled to investigate the effect of the substrate layer and microporous layer (MPL) with different polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content, the thickness of GDL and the pulse width modulation (PWM) of the fan, as well as the cathode outlet surface temperature distribution on the single-cell performance. The results showed that the performance of the cell with the GDL of appropriate PTFE content in the substrate layer and MPL could be optimized significantly. Furthermore, the reasons for the performance improvement were verified by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and the dynamic voltage test. In addition, the thickness of the GDL also has a certain impact on the mass and heat transfer of the fuel cell, while the water management in GDL will be affected by PWM of the fan, simultaneously. Combined with the practice process, the optimum values of the substrate layer PTFE content, MPL layer PTFE content, and thickness of GDL was identified to be 10%, 40%, and 200um, respectively.

Keywords: Gas diffusion layer (GDL), MPL, Substrate layer, PTFE content, Thickness, Air-cooled open cathode LT- PEMFC

(2) Lithium ion battery separators based on electrospun PVDF and copolymers of PVDF

Bicy K, Amadou Balal Gueye, Sabu Thomas


Poor electrochemical performances of commercial lithium ion battery separator limits its use in electric vehicles and energy storage systems. The poor electrochemical performance arises from the low porosity, high thermal shrinkage and poor thermal stability of Poly olefin based separators. This issue can be resolved by the use of novel electrospinning technology, which helps to design new separator materials with high porosity, surface area, electrolyte uptake and ionic conductivity.  Among the various polymeric separators, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and its copolymers are extensively used as lithium ion battery separators due to its attractive properties like good mechanical strength, thermal stability, non-reactive nature, easy processability, etc. In this review we highlight the recent developments and main characteristics of electrospun separators of PVDF based polymers. This review also explored the electrochemical properties of single polymer, polymer blends and nanocomposites of PVDF based polymers in detail.

(3) Recent developments in proton conducting nano-composite plasticized polymer electrolytes used in advanced electrochemical devices

Shuchi Sharma1,3, Dinesh Pathak1, Naresh Dhiman1,2, Rajiv Kumar3*, Kamlesh Kumar Prashar4, Manoj Kumar5, Narinder Arora6, Viney Sharma3,7

1Department of Physics, Sri Sai University, Palampur – 176 086 India

2Department of Physics, TJCM Government College, Sujanpur Tihra – 176 110 India

3Department of Physics, G.G.D.S.D. College, Hariana – 144 208 India

4Department of Chemistry, Wazir Ram Singh Government Degree College, Dehri – 176 202 India

5Department of Physics, Maharana Pratap Government College, Amb -177 203 India

6P.G. Department of Physics, D.A.V. College, Amritsar  – 143 001 India7Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh – 160 014 India

*Email: rajiv_parashar17@yahoo.co.in

Abstract: In this paper, proton conducting polymer electrolytes comprising different polymers, salts and acids has been reviewed. The ionic conductivity of unplasticized polymer electrolyte has been found to increase with the addition of plasticizers, which was due to dissociation of ion aggregates or undissociated salt/acid present in the electrolytes i.e. σ (plasticized polymer electrolytes) > σ (unplasticized polymer electrolytes). Proton conducting non-aqueous nano-composite plasticized polymer electrolytes containing poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVdF-HFP), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polyethylene oxide (PEO) polymers; different ammonium salts and acids as proton conductors; ethylene carbonate (EC), propylene carbonate (PC), dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethylacetamide (DMA), dimethyl carbonate (DMC), diethyl carbonate (DEC) as plasticizers; fumed silica and alumina as nano-fillers have been discussed in details. Conductivity studies (effect of salt/acid, effect of plasticizers, effect of nano-fillers and effect of temperature), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry/thermal gravimetric analysis (DSC/TGA) studies for these electrolytes have been discussed and reported in the paper. Nano-composite plasticized polymer electrolytes showed high ionic conductivity (in the order of 10-1 to 10-2 S/cm) at room temperature alongwith good thermal and mechanical stability due to simultaneous addition of both plasticizer and nano-filler. These electrolytes are the best candidates for their use in advanced electrochemical devices like fuel cells, supercapacitors etc.

Keywords: Ionic conductivity; polymer electrolytes; FTIR; XRD; plasticizer

(4) Recent Advancements in Electrolytes for Supercapacitors

Dipanwita Majumdar

Department of Chemistry, Chandernagore College, Chandannagar, Hooghly, West Bengal, India, Pin-712136

*Corresponding Author’s Email address: wbesdmajumdar@gmail.com

Abstract: Supercapacitors have emerged as one of the rapidly flourishing electrochemical energy-storage (EES) devices to realize and challenge the ever-rising demands of un-interrupted power supply, renewable and sustainable energy sources. However, the present gadgets largely counter with poor energy density and high fabrication expenditure that limit their commercialization. Scientists have been continuously engaged in the developing superior electrode material for the past two decades although very little importance was paid to the research of the electrolytes. Very recently, it has been recognized that electrolyte do play a vital “performance-determining” role in these EES devices. Strategies for enhancing energy performance of smart supercapacitors essentially require widening of the working voltage window that necessitates appropriate choice of electrolytes besides judicious electrode material designing. The electrolytes used in supercapacitors are categorized as liquid that includes aqueous, non-aqueous/organic, ionic liquids; solid-state or quasi-solid-state, as well as redox-active electrolytes. This paper represents an overview of the recent advancements of electrolytes employed in supercapacitor device. The ideology for designing and optimizing ion conducting, inexpensive, purely reachable and simply obtainable, eco-friendly electrolyte materials for superior device performance are discussed. The merits and limitations of presently employed electrolytes have also been highlighted. In the conclusion, some probable explorations so as to surmount the current challenges faced in this context have been proposed for future efforts aiming to improve the device energy storage efficiency without compromising with the existing benefits.

(5) Two-dimensional Mg2Si monolayer for excitonic high-performance solar cells: A first-principles study

Rui Xiong, Shuchang Cai, Baisheng Sa*, Peng Lin, Cuilian Wen, and Bo Wu

Key Laboratory of Eco-materials Advanced Technology, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, P. R. China

*To whom the correspondence should be addressed: bssa@fzu.edu.cn.

Abstract: Alkaline-earth metal silicides have received tremendous interest due to their desirable electronic and optical properties as well as the earth-abundant and environmentally friendly chemical compositions. Herein, based on density functional theory calculations, we reported an atomically thin alkaline-earth metal silicides as a highly efficient donor for excitonic solar cells, namely Mg2Si monolayer. The ab initio molecular dynamical simulations show that Mg2Si monolayer exhibits high thermal stability. Note that it possesses a quasi-direct bandgap of 1.19 eV, which can be further tuned by in-plane strain. Interestingly, the remarkable absorption coefficient of ~105 cm-1 has been confirmed in the Mg2Si monolayer with the electron mobility up to 2249 cm2V-1s-1. Furthermore, the type-II Mg2Si/MgI2 heterostructure has been proposed to be a potential high-performance solar cell candidate with a power conversion efficiency of 19.2%, which can be further enhanced to 21.4% by strain engineering. We believe that our findings will shed light on the design and applications of atomically thin alkaline-earth metal silicides in nanoscale and photoelectric devices.

Keywords: Density functional theory calculations, Alkaline-earth metals silicides, Mg2Si monolayer, solar cell.

(6) Effect of different milling time on the formation of Sr doped LaMnO3 for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell application

Kalpana R. Nagde1*, S. J. Dhoble2

1Department of Physics, Institute of science, Nagpur- 440012, India,

1Department of Physics, R.T.M. Nagpur University, Nagpur- 440033, India,

*Corresponding author e-mail:kalpana.nagle@gmail.com.

Abstract: Lowering the sintering temperature of cathode material for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC) is main concern of research.In the present work, well-known La0.9Sr0.1MnO3 system as cathode for IT-SOFC was prepared by using mechanochemical synthesis by varying grinding time. The pure phase La0.9Sr0.1MnO3 forms after dry milling at 24 hrs with 500 rpm. X-ray diffraction confirms single crystalline rhombohedral phase of as-synthesized and sintered La0.9Sr0.1MnO3. Sintering at 700ºC to improve the degree of crystallinity. SEM images of as-synthesized samples reveal highly agglomerate fine-scale grains. The temperature dependence of DC conductivity curve exhibits linear dependence of conductivity with temperature.

Keywords: Mechanochemical synthesis; X-ray powder diffraction; Cathode; Perovskite; Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell.

(7) Two-dimensional (2D) vanadium compounds for advanced energy storage and conversion

Wei Ni

Vanadium and Titanium Resource Comprehensive Utilization Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Panzhihua University, Panzhihua 617000, China

Material Corrosion and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Zigong 643000, China

E-mail address: niwei@iccas.ac.cn, max.ni@hotmail.com

Abstract: Vanadium-based compounds, especially the 2D or layered compounds and their bimetallic oxides, with quasi-2D network of open and stable crystal structure, have gained tremendous interest for energy storage and conversion applications including Li-ion batteries and hybrid capacitors owing to their outstanding rate capability derived from the intercalation pseudocapacitive kinetics. As high-performance battery-type anode materials along with unique chemical stability and higher capacity, they have greatly further the development of advanced batteries and hybrid capacitors. Various strategies including structure design, surface modification, conductivity enhancement, and electrode engineering are effectively carried out to overcome the drawback especially the intrinsic poor electrical conductivity of vanadium compounds. Here, we timely and systematically provides a comprehensive overview of the latest progress of the vanadium compounds for high-rate electrochemical energy storage application, as well as structure–performance relations, performance-optimizing strategies, and energy storage mechanisms in the advanced energy storage devices. Moreover, challenges and perspectives for future investigation and industrial applications are also illustrated.

Key words: two-dimensional materials, vanadium-based compounds, energy storage and conversion, batteries, supercapacitors