SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY and THE COMMONWEALTH SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIA
Research focus: chemistry and material sciences
Lithium-based batteries have dominated the electrochemical energy storage research since their first introduction in 1991. However, production and recycling of these batteries are highly expensive. Lithium extraction is energy and resource intensive and huge amounts of greenhouse gases are released during the extraction process. Moreover, the recycling of lithium-based batteries is uneconomic and in some cases impossible, leading to an increase of lithium battery waste in landfills, which can cause contamination of soil and water. Organic or metal-organic batteries might contribute to minimise these threats. All-organic batteries also allow for a tailored structural design, tuned redox potential and capacity, and flexibility which opens a number of opportunities to design the ideal battery for a specific application. That way, safer and biocompatible batteries without need for energy- and cost-intensive recycling processes could be provided.
During his PhD period, Mohammad has been working on the electrochemical synthesis of 2D and 3D conducting polymer networks to be used in lithium-sulfur and lithium-polymer batteries. His goal is to design and synthesize new conducting monomers to prepare 2D or 3D polymer network with n-type, p-type or bipolar type characteristics being used as anode, cathode or as both electrodes in either metal-polymer or all-organic batteries. He believes that this type of organic energy storage system could more contribute to a sustainable world compared to the current metal-based energy storage systems.
The jury acknowledged that Mohammad’s research is highly relevant since all-organic and metal-organic batteries are an important contribution to make electromobility even more sustainable.