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Robert Liu

Robert Liu

BEng (Hons), ARSM - Materials Science and Engineering - Imperial rlCollege
MSc (Eng) - Ceramic Science and Engineering - University of Sheffield

Research Interests

Light Weight Lead Batteries - For Electrical and Hybrid Electrical Vehicle applications

There is so much emphasis on producing Li base or Ni-MH batteries for Electrical Vehicles that the most established automotive battery over the last 100 years has not been given the same attention for the next generation of EVs and HEVs. It is surprising given the cost advantages are by a factor of 5-10. Of course Pb is heavy and Li is light. In reality the active component is not lead but oxides. The heavy lead grid in the battery only serves to hold the paste and conduct electricity and can be replaced by a light modern advanced material, such as foams, composites or coatings. The active lead oxide can be made super-efficient by using nanoparticles in the paste. In this project, foundations will be laid for the next generation of low-cost, light weight, and high energy density lead based batteries.

The current focus of my research is on improving the efficiency of the lead-acid battery by incorporating lead oxide nanoparticles into the active mass using a novel method. This method has proven effective in modifying the microstructure as well as the size of the active material in the lead acid battery, but it also has the potential of not only modifying lead oxide powders but also other active materials in other types of batteries, allowing the possibility for the scope of my current research to be expanded into other areas involving other electrochemical systems.

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