The core research goal of ACE-FUELS is to develop novel technologies and new materials for efficient exploitation of the region’s abundant energy resources. ACE-FUELS strives to achieve its research mandate by engaging in multi-disciplinary research projects in the core areas of Future Energies,Electrochemical Systems and Advanced Functional Materials. To this end, a state-of-the-art turn-key electrochemistry laboratory, with facilities for multi-disciplinary research projects based on electrochemical technologies is the backbone our research endeavors. Also, research projects in the different areas can be distinctly stand-alone and/or complementary to research work in other areas as well.
The Center focuses on new technologies for the supply of off-grid power in remote regions and instand-alone devices that supply “residual” electricity with low maintenance and costs. The Center interests extend to developing new conversion technologies to enable more innovative exploitation of the abundant renewable energy resources in the region.
Current Research Projects
- Design and construction of solar, wind, hydro, marine and geothermal energy devices for efficient clean energy harvesting and storage.
- Improving design and performance of organic, inorganic, thin film, hybrid solar cells and 3-D printed solar cells, solar thermal systems.
- Development of novel conducting polymers, semiconductors and nano-structured materials used in solar cells etc.
- Development and domestication of the technology for small and micro hydro-turbine production using locally sourced materials.
- Biomass conversion systems research with focus on improving the efficiency of bio-fuel, bio-ethanol and biogas production systems
- Microbial technologies for bio-energy production.
- Developing efficient and inexpensive catalysts for the complex electrochemical conversion of carbohydrates for electricity generation using carbohydrate fuel cell and bio-fuel cells
- Field analysis and performance measurement of sustainable renewable energy systems
- Carbon capture and sequestration technologies
- Design and construction of bio-diesel and bio-oil production plants
- Next generation energy systems for domestic and industrial applications Modelling, simulation and optimization of renewable energy systems.
- Electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems (Solar cells, Fuel cells, Batteries, Supercapacitors), including 3-D printed solar cells and 3-D printed graphene-based energy storage devices.
- Development of new carbon-based materials for electrochemical devices, from abundant local carbonaceous materials and agricultural wastes.
- Develop locally produced nanomaterials for applications in electrochemical storage devices, bioethanol in proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells.
- New conversion technologies to enable more innovative exploitation of the starch-rich process water from cassava processing plants, including design and fabrication of a prototype “indirect fuel cell” device.
- Design and fabrication of electrochemical sensors of different dimensions, including 3-D printed electrochemical sensors for environmental monitoring, as well as electrochemical detection for the monitoring of corrosion inhibitors.
- Electrochemical treatment of wastewater via electrolysis, advanced oxidation processes and heterogeneous photocatalysis using different semiconductor electrodes.
- Electrokinetic remediation of contaminated soils and sediments, metal recovery and electrochemical effluent gas treatment.
- Production, modification and functionalization of nanofillers from agro-industry waste
- Preparation of polymer/clay nanocomposites and nanocomposite thin films for photovoltaic surfaces as well as for surface modification and anticorrosion protection.
- Development of nano-structured ceramics membranes for carbon capture applications from various gas streams for clean energy production.
- Corrosion control of iron and steel and other structural materials deployed in service in different aggressive environments.
- Development of novel inexpensive and non-toxic corrosion inhibitors from local biomass resources and other sources.
- Functional anticorrosion coatings like superhydrophobic coatings, self-healing coatings, anti-fouling and self-cleaning coatings.
- Corrosion phenomena in renewable energy systems, like corrosion protection in hydroethanolic media and in biodiesel, as well as the corrosion behaviour of solar panels and other energy materials, in order to develop more corrosion resistant and long-lasting PV panels and structures.