The Laboratory of Materials for Energy Harvesting and Storage was established in 2017, joining two laboratories of the former Semiconductor Materials Department (SMD) - Solid State Ionics (G.Bajars) and Hydrogen Energy Materials (J.Kleperis) Laboratories.

The SMD by its founder and leader Dr. Andrejs Lusis (1939 - 2017) was the first in former USSR conducting researches in the fields of electrochromic and photo electrochromic materials and their thin layer systems. Currently researchers of the Laboratory of Materials for Energy Harvesting and Storage working on the development of functional coating technologies for the functionalization of glass and natural fiber textiles, researches on cathode materials and anode materials for Li-ion batteries, as well as studying materials and technologies for producing hydrogen in electrolysis, photoelectrolysis, biomass dark fermentation processes, for storage in metal hydrides and nanostructured composite materials, and for use in ion conducting membranes.

Scientific degree Name Surname Position Phone number E-mail
Dr.phys. Gints Kučinskis Leading researcher; Head of the laboratory   Gints.Kucinskis
Dr.chem. Gunārs Bajārs Leading researcher 67187817 Gunars.Bajars
Dr.phys. Jānis Kleperis Leading researcher 26436513 Janis.Kleperis
Dr.phys. Līga Grīnberga Researcher 26415673 Liga.Grinberga
Dr.phys. Jūlija Hodakovska Researcher 67262145 Julija.Hodakovska
Mg. Kaspars Kaprāns Researcher   Kaspars.Kaprans
Mg. Ainārs Knoks Researcher   Ainars.Knoks
Mg. Pēteris Lesničenoks Researcher   Peteris.Lesnicenoks
  Ansis Mežulis Researcher   Ansis.Mezulis
Dr.biol. Ilze Dimanta Guest Researcher   Ilze.Dimanta
  Beāte Krūze Engineer   Beate.Kruze
  Ināra Ņesterova Engineer   Inara.Nesterova
Prof., Dr.oec. Biruta Sloka Engineer    
  Elmārs Baltiņš Engineer    
  Dainis Bošs Engineer   Dainis.Boss
  Paulis Gurdziels Engineer   Paulis.Gurdziels
  Laimonis Jēkabsons Engineer 26313376 Laimonis.Jekabsons
  Mihails Karaušs Engineer   Mihails.Karauss
  Vladimirs Ņemcevs Engineer 26417705 Vladimirs.Nemcevs
  Roberts Oliņš Engineer   Roberts.Olins
  Raitis Kaspars Sika Engineer   Raitis.Sika
  Matīss Sondars Engineer   Matiss.Sondars
  Rims Vaitkus Engineer   Rims.Vaitkus

Theme 1: Synthesis and characterization of electrocatalytically and photocatalytically active ccomposite nanomaterials for use in the production of hydrogen by water splitting and reduction of air pollution by reforming pollution in a valid product (Figure 1v).

Tasks related to feasible projects:

1.1. Developing a concept for cathodic electrocatalytic CO2 reformation of ethylene oxide based on self-synthesized nanostructured carbon - a multilayer graphene produced by the exfoliation process, which is fertilized with catalyst Cu metal micro / nano crystals and deposited on the gas diffusion electrode base.

1.2. Improve the photocatalytic properties of anodized titanium dioxide nanotubes for carbon dioxide reduction by functionalizing with nanoparticles (quantum dots) derived from exfoliated multilayer graphene.

1.3. FTIR spectrometric and RGA mass spectrometric analysis techniques are developed for the analysis of products from electrolysis and photocatalysis.

2. Theme. "Synthesis of new large surface and nanostructured carbon materials from spent tires and industrial graphite waste (granules and multilayer graphene accordingly), functionalization and characterization for applications in new products and renewable energy generation and storage technologies."

There are three project-related tasks:

2.1. A method will be developed for synthesis of nitrogen-doped multilayer graphene (Figure 2v), characterization of the obtained material and research for applications in gas sensors, Li / Na accumulators, hydrogen and methanol fuel cells, microorganisms.

2.2. To study the effect of ozone on the breaking of polymer bonds in rubber, for applications in the development of technology for recycling of used tires.

2.3. Use of recycled rubber pellets for multi-layer road pavement from interlocking special design rubber pavement elements. The advantages of the design of elements and their methodologies described in the two patent applications will be tested for a real-size prototype.

Theme 3 “Synthesis and research of new cathode and anode materials for application in Li / Na ion batteries”. Tasks to be addressed:

3.1. To synthesize and characterize materials LiFePO4, mixed Li / Na manganese phosphates for cathode and graphene oxide, Fe2O3, TiO2, composite materials for anode, comparing different synthesis methods: electrophoretic deposition, spray-pyrolysis coating Figure 3v).

3.2. Investigate ion-electron phenomena and processes on the surface of solid matter, interphase boundary layer and phase volume, as well as perform surface and volume and composition functionalization by optimizing the kinetics of charge-discharge processes.

Theme 4 “Research on New Materials and Technologies for Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Energy (Figure 4v), Facilitating Latvia's transition to a low / zero carbon economy”. Some of the tasks we are working on:

4.1. Analyze prospects for the use of existing natural gas pipelines and storage systems, taking into account the potential increase in hydrogen production and utilization by assessing the possibility of adapting existing installations to partial or complete hydrogen transport and storage, as well as predictable technological developments for the production of hydrogen from methane and methane production from hydrogen.

4.2. Hydrogen as a carrier of energy for the accumulation of energy produced from unpredictable renewable energy sources (wind, sun);

4.3. To explore the possibilities of material and technology optimization for the generation and storage of energy from sun, ocean waves, wind..

Active projects:

Horizon 2020

CO2-based Electrosynthesis of ethylene oXIDE – CO2EXIDE (2018-2021)

EEA and Norway Grants

Aluminium recycling for hydrogen production - from waste through hydrogen energy to alumina - AliCE-WHy (Aluminium in a circular economy - from waste to hydrogen energy to alumina "- AliCE-WHy) (2021-2024)

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

Development of technology for the drying of grains with active ventilation using ozone (2018-2021)

Latvian Council of Science

Cycle life prediction of lithium-ion battery electrodes and cells, utilizing current-voltage response measurements (2021-2023)

Nanostructured Nitrogenated Carbon Materials as Promoters in Energy Harvesting and Storage Technologies NN-CARMA (2018-2021)

Postdoctoral

Advanced Materials for Sodium Ion Batteries (2019-2022)

National Research Program

Trends, challenges and solutions of Latvian gas infrastructure development – LAGAS (2019-2021)

 

Accomplished projects:

Baltic-German University Liaison Office Projects

Research of optical, electrical and gas sensing properties of nanocarbon based polymer nanomaterials to be applied for harvesting and storage of renewable energy (2017-2017)

COST

Hybrid Energy Storage Devices and Systems for Mobile and Stationary Applications (2011-2015)

Nanostructured materials for solid-state hydrogen storage (2011-2015)

European Regional Development Fund

New technology for biohydrogen production and separation in process od anaerobic fermentation (2011-2013)

Development of new technology to obtain hydrogen and calcium carbonate in chemical reaction of biomass and alkali (2011-2013)

Autonomous Wind and Hydrogen Power Supply System (2010-2013)

European Regional Development Fund (LIAA administrated)

Directly driven generator with electricity storage facility from water waves (DD-WWG) (2020-2020)

European Social Fund

Innovative materials for transparent electronics and photonics (2013-2015)

ISSP UL project competition for students and young scientists

Obtaining and study of anodic TiO2 nanotubes doped with graphene quantum dots for photocatalytic reduction of CO2 (2018-2019)

Latvian Council of Science​​​​​​​

Nanostructured materials for environmentally friendly technologies and energetics (2009-2012)

Research Cooperation

Synthesis and studies on controlled porosity composite thin layers and systems for energy storage and conversion applications (2014-2017)

Latvia – Lithuania-Taiwan Trilateral Scientific Cooperation Program

Materials and processing development for advanced Li ion batteries (2012-2014)

  • Obtained hematite thin film coatings with different impurity metals using advanced spray pyrolysis process; thin films possesses high photo-conductivity and appropriate width of forbidden gap for photocatalytic water splitting.
  • Simple method is developed to obtain nanostructured multilayer graphene and modify it with metals/cations for application as electrode material in supercapacitor and for solid state hydrogen storage.
  • Self-oriented nanostructured titanium dioxide nanotube coatings are obtained in anodization process, and research performed on influence of various parameters on the formation of this coating at the very beginning.
  • In collaboration with the designer created a prototype of Solar Tree to demonstrate “3 in 1” principle of Solar energy harvesting, storage and usage for installation in public areas of the urban environment.
  • Research was carried out on the hydrogen adsorption/desorption capacity of palladium and platinum activated natural zeolite using gravimetric and volumetric methods, concluding that zeolite, pre-treated with temperature pulses in inert atmosphere, can be used for hydrogen storage in solid state material (up to 5% by weight).
  • We are also conducting research on proton-conducting membranes and catalytic materials for fuel cells and electrolysers. Mixed-conductivity polymer is synthesized from electron-conducting (poli-anilin) and proton-conducting (sulfonated polyether-ether ketone) polymers that can be applied to the electrode-membrane assembly (MEA) of fuel cells. Using electrochemical impedance and spectrophotometric methods, the presence of proton and electron transfer mechanisms for obtained polymer composites has been detected.
  • In the field of bio-hydrogen production it has been found that C.sporogenes bacteria is capable of forming hydrogen gas in dark fermentation by processing various biomass production residues (whey from dairy and crude glycerol from bio-diesel plants in Latvia) with the hydrogen production rate of 1.5 mmol H2/l/h. Studies have shown that the use of micro-organisms from our own collection can successfully ferment various food residues, yielding hydrogen in gas phase. By increasing efficiency of the process it will be possible to transfer biomass residue into valuable energy carrier, hydrogen, which can be further used for electricity generation in food and chemical industries.
  • Prototype bioreactor has been created for pilot studies with hydrogen (and methane) production in bacterial fermentation process, also providing process control and reliable data acquisition. Micro-sensors, as well as optical sensors, are built in the bioreactor to test gas environment. It has been found that mixing and aeration with an inert gas increases the release of hydrogen in gas phase.
  • An electrophoresis equipment and technology for metal ceramic coatings of solar energy collectors are being developed. Homogeneous TiO2 films are produced by sol and suspension electrophoresis, and the method is promising in applications on metal substrates and fibers. It has been detected that thin films, crystallized at 500 °C, are mainly composed of anatase form, while in thicker films the proportion of rutile forms will increase. TiO2 thin layer photo activity varies significantly depending on the surface area and dopants (Fe2O3, WO3).
  • A new method of magnetron sputtering of high charge capacity has been developed for production of cathode thin film material, based on LiFePO4/C, for lithium-ion batteries. Electrochemical parameters of cathode material/Li-ion electrolyte boundary have been defined for cathode material charge - discharge states. It has been found that the largest double layer capacitance and the smallest charge transfer resistance is in the discharged state, but Li-ion diffusion coefficient minimum value is reached at the equilibrium state. Electrophoretic deposition method is elaborated for obtaining thin films of LiFePO4. New model describing extraction and injection mechanism of lithium ions in LiFePO4 thin films has been developed.
  • The electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method has been developed to obtain multilayer reduced graphene oxide (rGO) films as anode material. High charge capacity of films is ensured by lamellar structure and large surface area of electrode. Composite anode material TiO2/Fe2O3/rGO obtained by EPD showed very high charge capacity and cycling stability.

Latvia:

  • Ltd Ambitech Group AG
  • Ltd Multipla Energy
  • Ltd Eko Osta
  • JSC “Sidrabe”
  • JSC "Riga Electric Machine Building Works"
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
  • Ministry of Education and Science
  • Latvian Science Council
  • Latvian Academy of Science
  • Latvian Hydrogen Association
  • Riga Technical University IIEE
  • Latvian State Institute of Physical Energy
  • Latvian State Wood Chemistry Institute
  • Riga Technical University Neorganic Chemistry Institute
  • UL Faculty of Biology
  • UL Faculty of Chemistry
  • UL Faculty of Business Management and Economy
  • Riga Energy Agency

Estonia

  • University of Tartu

Lithuania:

  • Lithuanian Institute of Energetic, Kaunas
  • University of Vilnius - Department of Physics
  • Klaipeda University, Marine Research Institute

Poland:

  • Warsaw University

Estonia:

  • Tartu University

Germany:

  • Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart
  • Kassel University
  • Institute of Solid State Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich
  • Institute of Physics Freiburg University

EU:

  • European Hydrogen Association

Taiwan:

  • National Cheng Kung University, Materials Science and Engineering Department
  • Vanung University Taipei, Department of Electro-Optical Engineering
  1. Kleperis, J. Nanostructured Composite Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion: collection of articles = Nanostrukturēti kompozītmateriāli enerģijas uzkrāšanai un pārveidošanai   collection of articles LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, (2019), 157 pages, 10.22364/ncmesc
  2. Kucinskis, G., Bajars, G., Bikova, K., Kaprans, K., Kleperis, J., Microstructural Influence on Electrochemical Properties of LiFePO4/C/Reduced Graphene Oxide Composite Cathode, (2019) Russian Journal of Electrochemistry, 55 (6), pp. 517-523. 10.1134/S1023193519060120
  3. Vanags, M., Spule, A., Gruškeviča, K., Vihodceva, S., Tamm, A., Vlassov, S., Šutka, A., Sol-gel auto-combustion synthesis of Ca2Fe2O5 brownmillerite nanopowders and thin films for advanced oxidation photoelectrochemical water treatment in visible light (2019) Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 7 (4), art. no. 103224. 10.1016/j.jece.2019.103224
  4. K.Kaprans, J.Mateuss, A.Dorondo, G.Bajars, G.Kucinskis, P.Lesnicenoks, J.Kleperis (2018) Electrophoretically deposited α-Fe2O3 and TiO2 composite anchored on rGO with excellent cycle performance as anode for lithium ion batteries. Solid State Ionics, Volume 319, June 2018, Pages 1-6. doi.org/10.1016/j.ssi.2018.01.042 Cited 1 times (March 2019)
  5. P. Lesničenoks, L. Grīnberga, L. Jēkabsons, A. Antuzevičš, A. Bērziņa, M. Knite, G. Taurins, S. Varnagiris, J. Kleperis (2017) Nanostructured Carbon Materials for Hydrogen Energetics. Advanced Materials Letters, 8(4), (2017)  518.-523.lpp. ISSN 0976-3961. e-ISSN 0976-397X. DOI:10.5185/amlett.2016.7088 Cited 2 times (March 2019)
  6. J. Hodakovska, J. Kleperis (2016) Sulfonated poly(ether-ether-ketone) and Nafion composite membrane with aluminium oxide additive for fuel cell applications. Polymer Science - Series A (2016) 58 (2), pp. 167-171. DOI: 10.1134/S0965545X16020103
  7. I. Dimanta, J. Kleperis, I. Nakurte, S. Valucka, V. Nikolajeva, Z. Rutkovska, I. Muiznieks (2016) Metal hydride alloys for storing hydrogen produced by anaerobic bacterial fermentation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 41 (22), pp. 9394-9401. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.04.064. Cited 3 times (March 2019)
  8. Martins Vanags, Andris Šutka, Janis Kleperis, Peteris Shipkovs (2015) Comparison of the electrochemical properties of hematite thin films prepared by spray pyrolysis and electrodeposition. Ceramics International, Volume 41, Issue 7, August 2015, Pages 9024–9029. doi:10.1016/j.ceramint.2015.03.272 Cited 8 times (March 2019)
  9. P. Lesnicenoks, L. Grinberga, J. Kleperis (2014) Gravimetric and Spectroscopic Studies of Reversible Hydrogen Sorption on Nanoporous Clinoptilolite. Latvian Journal of Physics and Technical Sciences. Volume 51, Issue 3, Pages 35–41, ISSN (Online) 0868-8257, DOI: 10.2478/lpts-2014-0017, July 2014. Cited 1 times (March 2019)
  10. G. Kucinskis, G. Bajars, J. Kleperis (2013) Graphene in lithium ion battery cathode materials: A review. Journal Of Power Sources; Volume: 240 Pages: 66-79 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.03.160 Cited 339 times (March 2019)
  11. M. Vanags, J. Kleperis and G. Bajars (2012) Water Electrolysis with Inductive Voltage Pulses. Chapter 2 in Book: Electrolysis, Editors Janis Kleperis and Vladimir Linkov, InTech (2012), pp. 19-44, doi.org/10.5772/52453. Cited 12 times (March 2019)
  12. Dimants J., Dimanta I., Sloka B., Kleperis J., Kleperis J. Jr (2012) Renewable energy powered campus proposal for the University of Latvia. International Scientific Journal for Alternative Energy and Ecology ISJAEE, No 9 (113) 2012, pp.81-89. Cited 1 times (March 2019)
  13. J. Kleperis, G. Wojcik, A. Czerwinski, J. Skowronski, M. Kopczyk, M.  Beltowska-Brzezinska (2001) Review: Electrochemical behavior of metal hydrides, J. Solid State Electrochemistry, vol. 5, (2001), p. 229-249. Cited 330 times (March 2019)

1. Latvian Patent Application No P-18-21 (19.03.2018) Flexible two-layer pavement from elements with specific forms from rubber granules. Rims Vaitkus, Elmars Baltins, Peteris Lesnicenoks, Vladimirs Nemcevs, Janis Kleperis, Institute of Solid State Physics of University of Latvia.

2. Latvian Patent Application No. P-17-58 (15.09.2017) Industrially manufactured flexible covering of roads and grounds, and the process of its’ creation; Rims Vaitkus, Elmars Baltins, Vladimirs Nemcevs, Janis Kleperis, Institute of Solid State Physics of University of Latvia.

3. Latvian Patent No 14701 (0.10.2013). Method of creating capillary channels. Jānis Kleperis, Jurijs Kuzņecovs, Jānis Baumanis.

4. Latvian Patent No 14698, 2013. Fluid Level Balancing System. Jānis Kleperis, Jānis Straumēns.

5. Latvian Patent No 14454A (20.12.2011) Device for Conversion of Liquids Into Gaseous Combustible. J. Kuznecovs, M. Morozs, V. Strizevskis, J. Kleperis.

6. Latvian patent No LV13811 (09.10.2009) DC motor drive with a hydrogen fuel cell. A.Purviņš, O. Krievs, L. Ribickis, J. Kleperis

7. Latvian patent Nr. LV 13960, 2009, A new way for the synthesis of polymer-bonded sulphonated PEEK polymers. 2.           H. Luo, G. Vaivars, J. Kleperis

8. Latvian patent LV 13710, 2008. Water-operated heat and electricity supply system. M.Vanags, V.Ņemcevs, J.Kleperis

9. United States Patent 4251138 · Filed: 11/30/1978 · Published: 02/17/1981; Method of producing solid electrochrome element. Lusis Andrei R., Klyavin Yanis K., Zamozdik Talivaldis V., Lagzdons Juris L., Rode Oyars A., Pinnis Yanis Y.

Solar Cup, solar-powered and self-made model competition for school youth; annual event 3rd Saturday in May, 2008-2018. https://www.cfi.lu.lv/en/events/solar-cup/

International Exhibition of Innovations and Innovation MINOX, annual event 2-3 days of October, 2014 - 2018, Riga. ISSP UL stand, organized by laboratory scientists and engineers. http://www.minox.lv/home/; http://www.izgudrotaji.lv/?s=1237785432

International Exhibition Environment and Energy, each year 3-4 days in October, Riga, Kipsala, 2007-2018; ISSP UL stand, organized by laboratory scientists and engineers. Pēteris Lesničenoks (Latvian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwG400m1gAc

Science Night - laboratory young scientists (students) take part every year in the past ISSP now LU FMF. http://www.zinatniekunakts.lv/

Publications popular science journa “Energy and World” (Latvian): http://www.energijaunpasaule.lv/

1. Hydrogen is everywhere, also in Institute of Solid State Physics UL J. Kleperis, Energy and World, 2016 June-July, No 3 (98)), pp 58-61.

2. Insight into the 10 years of Laboratory of Hydrogen Energy Materials Laboratories ISSP UL. J. Kleperis, Energy and the World,  2016 August - September, No 4 (99)), pp. 52-57.

3. Solar energy in the presence of special materials reduces anthropogenic air pollution. A. Knoks, Energy and the World, 2018 April-May, No. 2 (109), p. 61-65