Monthly Archives: October 2017

2017 Summer Program Success

Each summer we ask for anonymous feedback from our researchers.  Below are a few comments we received:

  • I loved the work environment here at MSUBI.  All the employees here were great and very helpful.  My favorite part was meeting new people and making some life long friendships.
  • The project was geared towards my general understanding experience and future use of skills.  It was definitely assigned in the direction of my interests.
  • Communication was on-going, so if changes needed to be made or difficulties with the project were present then adjustments were made.
  • The experience provided a valuable practice for graduate school lab practices.  Work was independent but help from those with more experience could be sought out.
  • I enjoyed my colleagues the most out of the internship.  They are all very intelligent and great for advice and seeking information.  The tours were also super interesting because I had never seen this type of chemistry application before.  I loved it.
  • Science takes time.  Reactions will run and fail, staying optimistic is the real skill to develop with the research because it does not go perfectly according to plan.
  • This was a great 10 week program.  I loved working here and will be very sad to leave.  Working here has been the best experience I have ever had.
  • I will be letting my department know about the program.

Suggestions for improvement?

  • Maybe go kayaking or mini golfing.

Great suggestion.  I like the way you think.

Thanks to all of our summer researchers.  Some great advances were made this summer and it was due to your hard work.  We are excited about the future applications of your research, and we are also very excited about your futures!  We had a great summer and I’m glad to hear from your comments that you did too.  Please keep in touch, you know where to find us…

Amber Dood and Nick Mortimer

Amber and Nick collaborated on a poster for presenting at the Schaap Symposium…

High Potential Organic Redox Shuttles for Overcharge Protection in Lithium Ion Batteries;  Amber J. Prins, Nicholas J. Mortimer and Thomas F. Guarr*

Lithium ion batteries are universally used today, but unsafe conditions can occur if expensive electronics are not used to prevent overcharging. These electronics can double the price of the battery pack, so it is important to find a more economical way to control charging. “Redox shuttles” are potential additives to batteries to shunt the excess current and allow the battery to be safely used to its full capacity. When overcharge current flows through a battery, the redox shuttle is oxidized to form the radical cation which diffuses across the cell and is reduced at the anode. This effectively turns overcharge current into thermal energy which can be readily controlled, thereby preventing battery degradation. Numerous organic compounds have been investigated as shuttle candidates, but finding materials that possess the following qualities proves challenging: 1) high oxidation potential (generally > 4.2 V vs. Li/Li +); 2) solubility in battery electrolytes; 3) compatibility with other electrolyte components; 4) high stability in both reduced and oxidized forms (leading to long cycle life).

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland area, as well as through financial support from a Michigan Strategic Fund grant through Lakeshore Advantage to MSU.

Tom Guarr also presented similar posters at the 68th Annual International Society of Electrochemistry in Providence, RI on August 30 and at the 232nd Electrochemical Society meeting in National Harbor, MD on October 5, 2017.

Shane Mann

Shane joined us in January this year from Central Michigan University.  He has been researching and synthesizing full time for us ever since.

Multifunctional pyridinium systems for non-aqueous redox flow batteries;  Shane Mann, Nick Mortimer, Anthony Petty II, Jessica Scott, Dr. Tom Guarr*

Long-term, reliable energy storage on an industrial scale requires a battery system that is both incredibly cost efficient while also exceptionally simple to maintain over time. A proposed solution to large-scale energy storage is to reduce the cost and environmental impact of grid storage through the use of sustainable electrochemically active organic compounds.

The development of stable catholyte and anolyte materials for organic redox flow batteries (ORFB) minimizes the proliferation of toxic transition metal compounds, while simultaneously affording added assurance to nearby population centers in the event of any spill or leak. In order to maximize power output and meet modern electrical demands, we have developed a series of multi-electron, quinoidal systems. Using substituted polycyclic heterocycles such as phenothiazines or carbazoles in conjunction with extended bispyridinium anolytes, practical ORFBs have been developed.

Great work Shane, keep on developing new compounds and keeping us busy.