A £10.3 million grant, awarded to researchers today by the
Minister for Universities and Science,
The four successful winning research projects are led by UCL (
The research teams will assess the viability of using different, replacement materials in the manufacturing supply chain, considering their properties, cost, performance, and scalability. They will investigate how production processes or technology will need to adapt to using these newer materials. By the end of the study the research will enable manufacturers to adopt alternatives.
The projects are:
• Examining alternatives for transparent conducting oxide materials, used in window coatings, solar power panels, phones and computers, from nanoparticle dispersions, inks and thin films. Researchers will replace tin, which is expensive and indium, which is scarce, with common elements like titanium, aluminium and zinc. Led by UCL.
• Developing new active materials for photovoltaic solar cells based on abundant and low cost elements. The research aims at replacing key elements such as gallium, indium, cadmium and tellurium, while implementing processes compatible with large-scale manufacturing. Led by the University of
• Synthesising and processing alternative thermoelectric and piezoelectric materials used in functional devices including sensors, actuators and energy harvesters. Sensors and actuators are used in motion detectors, fuel injectors, engine sensors and medical diagnostic tools. The
• Investigating waste biomass and waste CO2 to replace petrochemical feedstocks in the manufacture of polymers. For example, food waste or wood shavings could be turned into home insulation or into engineering materials for house construction. The research will aim to develop processes which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent, at no extra cost to production. Led by the University of
Keywords for this news article include: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
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