Special Issue "Energy Storage and Conversion"

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A special issue of Inorganics (ISSN 2304-6740).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jiajun Chen

Toyota Research Institute of North America,1555 Woodridge Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
Phone: +1 734 995 5313
Interests: energy storage and conversion; battery; inorganic synthesis; hydrothermal; nanotech; crystal
Guest Editor
Dr. Franklin (Feng) Tao (Website)

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Interests: catalysis; nano science; materials synthesis
Guest Editor
Dr. V. Thangadurai (Website)

Departement of Chemistry, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Interests: materials chemistry; solid state chemistry; solid electrolytes; mixed conductors; ionic conductors; Li ion conductors; proton conductors; oxide ion electrolytes; solid oxide fuel cells; proton exchange membrane fuel cells; Li ion batteries; electrochemical gas sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The inevitable depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels and environmental issues, such as CO2 emissions, force us to transit away from using fossil fuels as the main global energy resource. Green energy sources, such as solar, hydroelectric, thermal and wind energy capture will eventually replace traditional energy sources. Inorganic material is the key in the development of advanced devices of energy storage and conversion for a sustainable energy strategy.  The grand challenge facing to the inorganic chemist is to discover, rationally design and utilize new functional materials made of earth-abound elements for the energy storage and conversion application. Recent spectacular progress of inorganic materials in synthesis technique, characterization, and computational tools greatly advance the field. This special issue invites contributions in broad concepts of inorganic/solid-state materials toward energy storage and conversion, including batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, dye-sensitive solar cells, photocatalysis, and thermoelectrics.

Dr. Jiajun Chen
Dr. Franklin (Feng) Tao
Dr. V. Thangadurai
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Inorganics is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • energy storage and conversion
  • batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells
  • solar cells
  • photocatalysis
  • thermoelectrics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Frontiers of Energy Storage and Conversion
Inorganics 2014, 2(3), 537-539; doi:10.3390/inorganics2030537
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 20 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue of Inorganics features a Forum for novel materials and approaches for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Diminishing non-renewable fossil fuels and the resulting unattainability of environment have made us search new sustainable energy resources and develop technology for efficient [...] Read more.
This special issue of Inorganics features a Forum for novel materials and approaches for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Diminishing non-renewable fossil fuels and the resulting unattainability of environment have made us search new sustainable energy resources and develop technology for efficient utilization of such resources. Green energy sources, such as solar, hydroelectric, thermal and wind energy are partially replacing fossil fuels as means to generate power. Inorganic (solid state) materials are key in the development of advanced devices for the efficient storage and conversion of energy. The grand challenge facing the inorganic chemist is to discover, design rationally and utilize advanced technological materials made from earth-abound elements for these energy storage and conversion processes. Recent spectacular progress in inorganic materials synthesis, characterization, and computational screening has greatly advanced this field, which drove us to edit this issue to provide a window to view the development of this field for the community. This special issue comprises research articles, which highlights some of the most recent advances in new materials for energy storage and conversion. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Thermoelectric Properties of Mg2Si Produced by New Chemical Route and SPS
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 351-362; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020351
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 May 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports about a new synthesis method for preparing Mg2Si in an efficient way. The intermetallic Mg2Si-phase forms gradually from a mixture of Mg and Si fine powder during exposure to hydrogen atmosphere, which reacts in a [...] Read more.
This paper reports about a new synthesis method for preparing Mg2Si in an efficient way. The intermetallic Mg2Si-phase forms gradually from a mixture of Mg and Si fine powder during exposure to hydrogen atmosphere, which reacts in a vacuum vessel at 350 °C. The resulting powder has the same particle size (100 µm) compared with commercial Mg2Si powder, but higher reactivity due to large surface area from particulate morphology. Both types of powders were compacted by spark plasma sintering (SPS) experiments at 627, 602, 597, and 400 °C for 600 s with a compaction pressure of 80 MPa. The thermoelectric characterization was performed with low and high temperature gradients of ΔT = 10 K up to 600 K. The results confirmed a Seebeck coefficient of −0.14 mV/K for specimens sintered from both powders. The small difference in total performance between purchased and produced power is considered to be due to the effect of impurities. The best values were obtained for n-type Mg2Si doped with 3% Bi yielding a Seebeck coefficient of −0.2 mV/K, ZT = 0.45) and electric output power of more than 6 µW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
Open AccessCommunication Qualifying the Role of Indium in the Multiple-Filled Ce0.1InxYb0.2Co4Sb12 Skutterudite
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 168-176; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020168
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Literature confirms an improvement in the overall TE properties due to the in situ InSb nano-dispersed phases located along the grain boundaries in several double-filled InxYzCo4Sb12 skutterudites. However, the single-filled InxCo4Sb [...] Read more.
Literature confirms an improvement in the overall TE properties due to the in situ InSb nano-dispersed phases located along the grain boundaries in several double-filled InxYzCo4Sb12 skutterudites. However, the single-filled InxCo4Sb12 reports contribute enhancement in TE properties solely on the nature of In as a void filler. To qualify the effect of In on the TE properties on multiple-filled skutterudites several multiple-filled Ce0.1InxYb0.2Co4Sb12 skutterudite samples, with nominal composition Ce0.1InyYb0.2Co4Sb12 (0 ≤ y ≤ 0.2), were synthesized. A double-filled base-line sample Ce0.1Yb0.2Co4Sb12 was also synthesized and characterized to create a much fuller depiction of the nature of In and its impact on the TE properties of the filled Co4Sb12-based skutterudite materials. Our results confirm that small amounts of In can be effective at increasing electrical conductivity in the multiple-filled Ce0.1InyYb0.2Co4Sb12 skutterudite. An increased mobility and thus electrical conductivity result in a 15% increase in the dimensionless Figure of Merit, ZT, in the nominal sample composition, Ce0.1In0.05Yb0.2Co4Sb12, which exhibits a state of the art ZT > 1.4 at T = 820 K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
Open AccessArticle Comparative Issues of Cathode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries
Inorganics 2014, 2(1), 132-154; doi:10.3390/inorganics2010132
Received: 29 January 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 38 | PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After an introduction to lithium insertion compounds and the principles of Li-ion cells, we present a comparative study of the physical and electrochemical properties of positive electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Electrode materials include three different classes of lattices according to [...] Read more.
After an introduction to lithium insertion compounds and the principles of Li-ion cells, we present a comparative study of the physical and electrochemical properties of positive electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Electrode materials include three different classes of lattices according to the dimensionality of the Li+ ion motion in them: olivine, layered transition-metal oxides and spinel frameworks. Their advantages and disadvantages are compared with emphasis on synthesis difficulties, electrochemical stability, faradaic performance and security issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
Open AccessArticle New Type-I and Type-II Clathrates in the Systems Cs–Na–Ga–Si, Rb–Na–Ga–Si, and Rb–Na–Zn–Si
Inorganics 2014, 2(1), 79-95; doi:10.3390/inorganics2010079
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Systematic studies in the systems Cs–Na–Ga–Si, Rb–Na–Ga–Si, and Rb–Na–Zn–Si yielded the novel type-I clathrates with refined compositions Cs6Na2Ga8.25Si37.75(3), Rb6.34Na1.66(2)Ga8.02Si37.98(3), and Rb5.20Na2.80(4)Zn3.85 [...] Read more.
Systematic studies in the systems Cs–Na–Ga–Si, Rb–Na–Ga–Si, and Rb–Na–Zn–Si yielded the novel type-I clathrates with refined compositions Cs6Na2Ga8.25Si37.75(3), Rb6.34Na1.66(2)Ga8.02Si37.98(3), and Rb5.20Na2.80(4)Zn3.85Si42.15(2) (cubic, ), as well as the type-II clathrates with formulae Cs8Na16Ga22.7Si113.3(1), Rb8.4Na15.6(1)Ga19.6Si116.4(1), and Rb8Na16Zn8.4Si127.6(1) (cubic, ). In each system, the type-I and -II compounds are always co-crystallizing, irrespective of the reaction conditions. The structures derived from single-crystal X-ray diffraction confirm complete ordering of Cs and Na atoms, and nearly complete ordering of the Rb and Na guest atoms. The framework-building Si atoms are randomly substituted by Ga or Zn atoms on all framework sites with notable difference in the substitution patterns between the type-I and type-II structure. This, and other details of the crystal chemistry are discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
Open AccessArticle Investigation into the Incorporation of Phosphate into BaCe1−yAyO3−y/2 (A = Y, Yb, In)
Inorganics 2014, 2(1), 16-28; doi:10.3390/inorganics2010016
Received: 26 November 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we examine the effect of doping phosphate into BaCe1−yAyO3−y/2 (A = Y, Yb, In). The samples were analysed through a combination of X-ray diffraction, TGA, Raman spectroscopy and conductivity measurements. The [...] Read more.
In this paper we examine the effect of doping phosphate into BaCe1−yAyO3−y/2 (A = Y, Yb, In). The samples were analysed through a combination of X-ray diffraction, TGA, Raman spectroscopy and conductivity measurements. The results showed that phosphate could be incorporated into this system up to the 10% doping level, although this required an increased Y/Yb/In content, e.g., BaCe0.6(Y/In/Yb)0.3P0.1O2.9. The phosphate doping was, however, shown to lead to a decrease in conductivity; although at low phosphate levels high conductivities were still observed, e.g., for BaCe0.65Y0.3P0.05O2.875, σ = 4.3 × 10−3 S cm−1 at 600 °C in wet N2. In terms of the effect of phosphate incorporation on the CO2 stability, it was shown to lead to a small improvement for the In containing samples, whereas the yttrium doped compositions showed no change in CO2 stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
Open AccessArticle Amorphous Li-Al-Based Compounds: A Novel Approach for Designing High Performance Electrode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries
Inorganics 2013, 1(1), 14-31; doi:10.3390/inorganics1010014
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 18 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new amorphous compound with the initial atomic composition Al43Li43Y6Ni8 applied as electrode material for Li-ion batteries is investigated. Unlike other amorphous compounds so-far investigated as anode materials, it already contains Li as a base [...] Read more.
A new amorphous compound with the initial atomic composition Al43Li43Y6Ni8 applied as electrode material for Li-ion batteries is investigated. Unlike other amorphous compounds so-far investigated as anode materials, it already contains Li as a base element in the uncycled state. The amorphous compound powder is prepared by high energy ball milling of a master alloy. It shows a strongly enhanced specific capacity in contrast to amorphous alloys without Li in the initial state. Therewith, by enabling a reversible (de)lithiation of metallic electrodes without the phase transition caused volume changes it offers the possibility of much increased specific capacities than conventional graphite anodes. According to the charge rate (C-rate), the specific capacity is reversible over 20 cycles at minimum in contrast to conventional crystalline intermetallic phases failing by volume changes. The delithiation process occurs quasi-continuously over a voltage range of nearly 4 V, while the lithiation is mainly observed between 0.1 V and 1.5 V. That way, the electrode is applicable for different potential needs. The electrode stays amorphous during cycling, thus avoiding volume changes. The cycling performance is further enhanced by a significant amount of Fe introduced as wear debris from the milling tools, which acts as a promoting element. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)

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