Batteries

Electrochemistry

We've built expertise in electrochemical technology since the 1950’s when NASA first used alkaline fuel cells to power its space programme. We now draw on know-how from across our scientific teams to apply electrochemical techniques to solve complex problems for a wide range of applications.

A cross-disciplinary resource

Taking a cross-disciplinary approach is one of our great strengths.

We use detailed electrochemistry and world-class testing facilities to investigate materials, measure their performance, understand why they behave as they do, and identify how to improve them. Our laboratories can model electrochemical reactions down to atomic levels and take measurements to understand alloys and electronic structures, characterise materials, evaluate surface interactions and look at reaction mechanisms. With this knowledge, we design and develop advanced and active electrocatalytic materials and optimise how they behave in a formulated product and system. Drawing on all this know-how means we can deliver best in class electrochemical products that meet our customers' demands.

Producing power or chemicals

Our electrochemical expertise is used in a surprising range of applications, split into two distinct areas. Firstly, the generation of electricity from chemicals which includes fuel cell catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, and advanced cathode materials, cell manufacture and system integration for batteries. In both these areas, we use advanced electrochemical techniques and materials science to drive materials innovation. We understand electrode structures and design cathode material morphology to improve energy density, we evaluate cell performance to optimise electrodes and for batteries we combine this with pack-level design and integration to improve cathode materials lifetime and safety.

Secondly, the use of electricity to create chemicals including plating salts and baths (for putting very thin layer anti-corrosion protective coating on components used in high temperature and harsh environments) and manufacture of onsite chlorine disinfection materials.

Our knowledge of electrochemistry is also used to measure and understand corrosion and how to prevent it and this is applied to alloy materials designed to modify corrosion behaviour for components such as medical implants.
It's important to know how our customers use materials, and appreciate the whole processes from material development to integration in a system. We use our breadth and depth of expertise to develop lower cost, higher performing electrochemical materials, from the laboratory scale to production.