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2023. 12. 19 -

Chemist G. Gečė, who developes the next generation batteries, gets a PhD in Natural Sciences

Dr. Gintarė Gečė. Photo: FTMC
Gintarė Gečė, a researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology of FTMC, has been awarded a PhD. She defended her thesis on "Search, Synthesis, and Investigation of New Framework Electrode Materials for Aqueous Na-ion Batteries" (academic supervisor: Dr. Linas Vilčiauskas, academic advisor: Dr. Jurgis Pilipavičius).
Congratulations and wishes for the best of luck!
Gintarė is studying electrochemical sodium-ion batteries and looking for solutions to improve their performance. According to the researcher, the growing demand for electricity is driving the search for new and efficient ways of storing renewable energy. Electrochemical batteries are currently considered to be one of the most attractive technologies, with their high energy efficiency, low environmental impact, easy dimensioning and, most importantly, wide power and energy range.
"Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most widely used, but the high and rising cost of lithium, as well as the use of highly flammable organic electrolytes, is driving the search for new and more sustainable alternatives for energy storage.
Sodium-ion batteries, especially those using aqueous electrolytes, are attracting increasing interest as stationary energy storage systems - as they are much safer, non-flammable, more environmentally friendly, easier to dispose of and recycle, and, of course, cheaper than lithium-ion batteries due to the more widespread availability of sodium resources," says the chemist.
(Photo: FTMC)
But there are still problems to be solved. For example, the high mass of sodium makes these batteries extremely limited in their applicability to portable devices or electric vehicles. Sodium-ion battery technology is still relatively new, and both scientists and industry face many challenges, such as energy density or electrochemical stability, says Gintarė. However, more and more companies are already starting to produce them commercially.
"The aim of my thesis is to find, synthesise and test new electrode materials suitable for aqueous sodium-ion batteries. The thesis describes the syntheses and optimizations of 8 different materials and investigates their purity, thermal stability, particle size and morphology. Subsequently, electrodes were prepared from the synthesised compounds and their electrochemical properties were investigated by cycling them for 100 to 1000 cycles using different aqueous electrolytes.
The results showed which materials are completely unsuitable for aqueous sodium-ion batteries due to their rapid capacity degradation, and which ones have a lot of potential and are quite stable even after many cycles. The results of the PhD are by no means definitive, and the research is continuing," says G. Gečė.
(Photo: FTMC)
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