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Mason scientists to study battery electrochemistry

Chao Luo, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Andre Clayborne, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, are set to begin a project in which they will investigate the electrochemistry of carboxylate compounds in rechargeable sodium batteries (RSBs) and rechargeable potassium batteries (RPBs). 

They aim to gain a fundamental understanding of the correlation between chemical structure and electrochemical behaviors of carboxylate compounds at the molecular and material levels.  

The researchers will apply the knowledge they gain in this study to the rational structural design and synthesis of new organic anode materials for RSBs/RPBs. These novel structures will significantly enhance the utilization, reaction kinetics, and stability of organic materials during battery charge/discharge.  

"Carboxylate compounds, with advantages of lightweight, abundance, low cost, and high sustainability, are promising anode materials for rechargeable sodium batteries and rechargeable potassium batteries. The development of novel carboxylate material design concepts and processes will enable low-cost and high-sustainability energy storage devices to be manufactured from renewable resources," Luo said. 

The researchers will receive $452,082 from the National Science Foundation for this project. Funding will begin in Aug. 2022 and end in late July 2025.