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USQ researcher awarded fellowship for CO2 utilisation research

Manufacturing News

A University of Southern Queensland nanomaterials researcher is among Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellows announced this week, with Dr Lei Ge awarded $813,000 to develop electrochemical conversion technologies to convert carbon dioxide into chemicals and fuels.

Ge (pictured) is based at USQ’s Centre for Future Materials. He said in a statement on Friday that CO2’s environmental impact can be negative, but it can also act as an important storage intermediate and feedstock for sustainable chemical manufacturing.

“This research aims to establish a fundamental understanding of critical but poorly known mass transfer and reaction mechanisms in the CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction, and use this to design new gas diffusion electrodes (GDE),” he said.

GDEs are described as” electrical conductors with a solid, liquid and gaseous interface alongside a CO2 active catalyst layer, used in technologies such as fuel cells to create an electrochemical reaction between chemical elements to create energy.”

The funding, among $94 million in Future Fellowships announced this week, will allow Ge – a member of a research team headed by Professor John Bell and Professor Hao Wang – to build on his existing research. This has developed “a series of highly-active electrocatalysts and GDEs via membrane microstructure design and catalyst engineering.”

Picture: supplied

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