E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Deepak Pant

Separation and Conversion Technology, VITO – Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang 200, Mol 2400, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +3214336969
Interests: microbial electrosynthesis; enzymatic electrosynthesis; carbon dioxide conversion to chemicals; bioelectrochemistry; microbial fuel cell (MFC); industrial wastewater treatment; bioenergy from biomass; biowaste valorization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years renewable energy has been gaining a lot of traction due to the uncertainty regarding the availability of fossil-based reserves, as well as increasing pollution problems associated with their use. Renewable and clean energy technologies are playing a central role in any sustainable development approach. Therefore, research and development of new materials for renewable energy conversion and storage is becoming increasingly important in materials science and engineering research. In order to realize the full potential of these emergent renewable technologies, it is necessary to create materials that will support these technologies. These materials include electrodes (based on activated carbons, metals, graphene, hybrid materials), nanomaterials, membranes (based on metals, ceramics, polymers, and mixed matrix), and separators (for rapid ion transport, as well as specificity towards separation) to be used in renewable energy devices, such as fuel cells. The research involves studying the synthesis, structure, and physical properties, coupled with the application aspect of such materials. It is important to evaluate the relationships between structure, properties, and behavior, before, during, and after practical applications in order to define and minimize the potential failure of these novel materials. New opportunities for specific applications of these materials are related with the introduction of newer technologies, such as artificial photosynthesis and microbial electrosynthesis. Hence, the discovery and optimization of new materials systems is of prime importance, engaging materials scientists with great challenges and, at the same time, providing opportunities for exciting materials research.

In this Special Issue, the aim is to present a contemporary overview of recent developments in the field of novel materials that are being developed for various renewable energy conversion approaches. Reviews, full-length research manuscripts, and short communications, covering the aspects of the current trends in development and usage of such novel materials are welcome.

Dr. Deepak Pant
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • novel electrodes
  • membranes
  • batteries and cells
  • microbial fuel cells
  • artificial photosynthesis & electrosynthesis
  • waste to energy
  • waste valorization
  • electrochemical energy conversion and storage
  • biohydrogen
  • solar-driven conversions
  • photovoltaics
  • catalysis

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Ternary CNTs@TiO2/CoO Nanotube Composites: Improved Anode Materials for High Performance Lithium Ion Batteries
Materials 2017, 10(6), 678; doi:10.3390/ma10060678
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) synthesized by electrochemical anodization are discussed as very promising anodes for lithium ion batteries, owing to their high structural stability, high surface area, safety, and low production cost. However, their poor electronic conductivity and low Li+ ion diffusivity
[...] Read more.
TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) synthesized by electrochemical anodization are discussed as very promising anodes for lithium ion batteries, owing to their high structural stability, high surface area, safety, and low production cost. However, their poor electronic conductivity and low Li+ ion diffusivity are the main drawbacks that prevent them from achieving high electrochemical performance. Herein, we report the fabrication of a novel ternary carbon nanotubes (CNTs)@TiO2/CoO nanotubes composite by a two-step synthesis method. The preparation includes an initial anodic fabrication of well-ordered TiO2/CoO NTs from a Ti-Co alloy, followed by growing of CNTs horizontally on the top of the oxide films using a simple spray pyrolysis technique. The unique 1D structure of such a hybrid nanostructure with the inclusion of CNTs demonstrates significantly enhanced areal capacity and rate performances compared to pure TiO2 and TiO2/CoO NTs, without CNTs tested under identical conditions. The findings reveal that CNTs provide a highly conductive network that improves Li+ ion diffusivity, promoting a strongly favored lithium insertion into the TiO2/CoO NT framework, and hence resulting in high capacity and an extremely reproducible high rate capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Hollow Palladium Nanoparticles Facilitated Biodegradation of an Azo Dye by Electrically Active Biofilms
Materials 2016, 9(8), 653; doi:10.3390/ma9080653
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
PDF Full-text (6728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dye wastewater severely threatens the environment due to its hazardous and toxic effects. Although many methods are available to degrade dyes, most of them are far from satisfactory. The proposed research provides a green and sustainable approach to degrade an azo dye, methyl
[...] Read more.
Dye wastewater severely threatens the environment due to its hazardous and toxic effects. Although many methods are available to degrade dyes, most of them are far from satisfactory. The proposed research provides a green and sustainable approach to degrade an azo dye, methyl orange, by electrically active biofilms (EABs) in the presence of solid and hollow palladium (Pd) nanoparticles. The EABs acted as the electron generator while nanoparticles functioned as the electron carrier agents to enhance degradation rate of the dye by breaking the kinetic barrier. The hollow Pd nanoparticles showed better performance than the solid Pd nanoparticles on the dye degradation, possibly due to high specific surface area and cage effect. The hollow cavities provided by the nanoparticles acted as the reaction centers for the dye degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Gas Diffusion Electrodes Manufactured by Casting Evaluation as Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC)
Materials 2016, 9(7), 601; doi:10.3390/ma9070601
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2611 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most intriguing renewable energy production methods being explored currently is electrical power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, to make MFC technology economically feasible, cost efficient electrode manufacturing processes need to be proposed and demonstrated. In this context, VITO
[...] Read more.
One of the most intriguing renewable energy production methods being explored currently is electrical power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, to make MFC technology economically feasible, cost efficient electrode manufacturing processes need to be proposed and demonstrated. In this context, VITO has developed an innovative electrode manufacturing process based on film casting and phase inversion. The screening and selection process of electrode compositions was done based on physicochemical properties of the active layer, which in turn maintained a close relation with their composition A dual hydrophilic-hydrophobic character in the active layer was achieved with values of εhydrophilic up to 10% while εTOTAL remained in the range 65 wt % to 75 wt %. Eventually, selected electrodes were tested as air cathodes for MFC in half cell and full cell modes. Reduction currents, up to −0.14 mA·cm2− at −100 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl) were reached in long term experiments in the cathode half-cell. In full MFC, a maximum power density of 380 mW·m−2 was observed at 100 Ω external load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Heat Transfer Performance of Functionalized Graphene Nanoplatelet Aqueous Nanofluids
Materials 2016, 9(6), 455; doi:10.3390/ma9060455
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The low thermal conductivity of fluids used in many industrial applications is one of the primary limitations in the development of more efficient heat transfer systems. A promising solution to this problem is the suspension of nanoparticles with high thermal conductivities in a
[...] Read more.
The low thermal conductivity of fluids used in many industrial applications is one of the primary limitations in the development of more efficient heat transfer systems. A promising solution to this problem is the suspension of nanoparticles with high thermal conductivities in a base fluid. These suspensions, known as nanofluids, have great potential for enhancing heat transfer. The heat transfer enhancement of sulfonic acid-functionalized graphene nanoplatelet water-based nanofluids is addressed in this work. A new experimental setup was designed for this purpose. Convection coefficients, pressure drops, and thermophysical properties of various nanofluids at different concentrations were measured for several operational conditions and the results are compared with those of pure water. Enhancements in thermal conductivity and in convection heat transfer coefficient reach 12% (1 wt %) and 32% (0.5 wt %), respectively. New correlations capable of predicting the Nusselt number and the friction factor of this kind of nanofluid as a function of other dimensionless quantities are developed. In addition, thermal performance factors are obtained from the experimental convection coefficient and pressure drop data in order to assess the convenience of replacing the base fluid with designed nanofluids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Enhancement of Electrochemical Performance of LiMn2O4 Spinel Cathode Material by Synergetic Substitution with Ni and S
Materials 2016, 9(5), 366; doi:10.3390/ma9050366
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nickel and sulfur doped lithium manganese spinels with a nominal composition of LiMn2−xNixO4–ySy (0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.5 and y = 0.01) were synthesized by a xerogel-type sol-gel method followed by subsequent calcinations at
[...] Read more.
Nickel and sulfur doped lithium manganese spinels with a nominal composition of LiMn2−xNixO4–ySy (0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.5 and y = 0.01) were synthesized by a xerogel-type sol-gel method followed by subsequent calcinations at 300 and 650 °C in air. The samples were investigated in terms of physicochemical properties using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (EDS-TEM), N2 adsorption-desorption measurements (N2-BET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and electrical conductivity studies (EC). Electrochemical characteristics of Li/Li+/LiMn2−xNixO4–ySy cells were examined by galvanostatic charge/discharge tests (CELL TEST), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The XRD showed that for samples calcined at 650 °C containing 0.1 and 0.2 mole of Ni single phase materials of Fd-3m group symmetry and nanoparticles size of around 50 nm were obtained. The energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping confirmed homogenous distribution of nickel and sulfur in the obtained spinel materials. Moreover, it was revealed that the adverse phase transition at around room temperature typical for the stoichiometric spinel was successfully suppressed by Ni and S substitution. Electrochemical results indicated that slight substitution of nickel (x = 0.1) and sulfur (y = 0.01) in the LiMn2O4 enhances the electrochemical performance along with the rate capability and capacity retention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Open AccessArticle Improved Charge Separation in WO3/CuWO4 Composite Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation
Materials 2016, 9(5), 348; doi:10.3390/ma9050348
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 29 April 2016 / Published: 7 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Porous tungsten oxide/copper tungstate (WO3/CuWO4) composite thin films were fabricated via a facile in situ conversion method, with a polymer templating strategy. Copper nitrate (Cu(NO3)2) solution with the copolymer surfactant Pluronic®F-127 (Sigma-Aldrich, St.
[...] Read more.
Porous tungsten oxide/copper tungstate (WO3/CuWO4) composite thin films were fabricated via a facile in situ conversion method, with a polymer templating strategy. Copper nitrate (Cu(NO3)2) solution with the copolymer surfactant Pluronic®F-127 (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA, generic name, poloxamer 407) was loaded onto WO3 substrates by programmed dip coating, followed by heat treatment in air at 550 °C. The Cu2+ reacted with the WO3 substrate to form the CuWO4 compound. The composite WO3/CuWO4 thin films demonstrated improved photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance over WO3 and CuWO4 single phase photoanodes. The factors of light absorption and charge separation efficiency of the composite and two single phase films were investigated to understand the reasons for the PEC enhancement of WO3/CuWO4 composite thin films. The photocurrent was generated from water splitting as confirmed by hydrogen and oxygen gas evolution, and Faradic efficiency was calculated based on the amount of H2 produced. This work provides a low-cost and controllable method to prepare WO3-metal tungstate composite thin films, and also helps to deepen the understanding of charge transfer in WO3/CuWO4 heterojunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Polyols from Microwave Liquefied Bagasse and Its Application to Rigid Polyurethane Foam
Materials 2015, 8(12), 8496-8509; doi:10.3390/ma8125472
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 28 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1527 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bagasse flour (BF) was liquefied using bi-component polyhydric alcohol (PA) as a solvent and phosphoric acid as a catalyst in a microwave reactor. The effect of BF to solvent ratio and reaction temperatures on the liquefaction extent and characteristics of liquefied products were
[...] Read more.
Bagasse flour (BF) was liquefied using bi-component polyhydric alcohol (PA) as a solvent and phosphoric acid as a catalyst in a microwave reactor. The effect of BF to solvent ratio and reaction temperatures on the liquefaction extent and characteristics of liquefied products were evaluated. The results revealed that almost 75% of the raw bagasse was converted into liquid products within 9 min at 150 °C with a BF to solvent ratio of 1/4. The hydroxyl and acid values of the liquefied bagasse (LB) varied with the liquefied conditions. High reaction temperature combining with low BF to solvent ratio resulted in a low hydroxyl number for the LB. The molecular weight and polydispersity of the LB from reactions of 150 °C was lower compared to that from 125 °C. Rigid polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared from LB and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), and the structural, mechanical and thermal properties of the PU foam were evaluated. The PU foams prepared using the LB from high reaction temperature showed better physical and mechanical performance in comparison to those from low reaction temperature. The amount of PA in the LB has the ability of increasing thermal stability of LB-PU foams. The results in this study may provide fundamental information on integrated utilizations of sugarcane bagasse via microwave liquefaction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Optimization of Layered Cathode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Materials 2016, 9(7), 595; doi:10.3390/ma9070595
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (9507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review presents a survey of the literature on recent progress in lithium-ion batteries, with the active sub-micron-sized particles of the positive electrode chosen in the family of lamellar compounds LiMO2, where M stands for a mixture of Ni,
[...] Read more.
This review presents a survey of the literature on recent progress in lithium-ion batteries, with the active sub-micron-sized particles of the positive electrode chosen in the family of lamellar compounds LiMO2, where M stands for a mixture of Ni, Mn, Co elements, and in the family of yLi2MnO3•(1 − y)LiNi½Mn½O2 layered-layered integrated materials. The structural, physical, and chemical properties of these cathode elements are reported and discussed as a function of all the synthesis parameters, which include the choice of the precursors and of the chelating agent, and as a function of the relative concentrations of the M cations and composition y. Their electrochemical properties are also reported and discussed to determine the optimum compositions in order to obtain the best electrochemical performance while maintaining the structural integrity of the electrode lattice during cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Figures

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Materials Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Materials Edit a special issue Review for Materials
logo
loading...
Back to Top