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Pr. Dennis Y.C. Leung

Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Hong Kong


Talk Title
Application of innovative microfluidic and paper based Al-air batteries for portable devices

Talk Abstract

Aluminum-air (Al-air) battery has been invented for more than 50 years, which is well-known for its high energy density and excellent power output. Nevertheless, the application of this technology is still restricted to large-systems with high cost due to its complexity, while its application in portable devices is barely reported. This is because of its requirement of high-purity Al anode and complex electrolyte management, which lead to poor market competitiveness and system redundancy. Inspired by the ever-growing research on paper-based power sources, in this work a novel-type Al-air battery has been developed to bring this conventional technology to the enormous miniwatt market potential. By using cellulose paper as electrolyte channel, the whole system is greatly simplified without the need for bulky liquid storage or active electrolyte delivery. Hydrogen generation is also suppressed. More importantly, the restricted electrolyte transport and ion diffusion inside the porous and tortuous paper enables the direct utilization of low-purity Al (<98%) in alkaline electrolyte with a high specific capacity of 1732 mA h g-1. Furthermore, the intrinsic flexibility and printability of paper have enabled the fabrication of flexible and printable Al-air batteries, which are more lightweight and versatile. This printable battery design directly employs Al ink and Oxidation Reduction Reaction (ORR) ink for anode and cathode fabrication, respectively. This novel design exhibits a great development potential for a much smarter and more economic battery application prospect for the emerging miniwatt market such as wearable electronics, point-of-care diagnostic assays, biosensors, smart packages, etc. In this talk, the above innovative batteries will be introduced and demonstrated.

Short Biography

Prof. Dennis Y.C. Leung received his BEng (1982) and PhD (1988) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong.  He is currently a full professor and associate head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong specializing in environmental pollution control and renewable & clean energy development. He has published more than 420 articles in these two areas including 250+ peer reviewed top SCI journal papers.  His current h-index is 56 and total citations are more than 13000. He is one of the top 1% highly cited scientists in the world in energy field since 2010 (Essential Science Indicators) and named as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics in 2017. Prof. Leung is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the IMechE and Energy Institute. He is also the Past Chairman of the Institute of Energy (HK Branch), and serves as a specialty chief editor of Frontiers in Environmental Science, and editorial board member of Applied Energy and Applied Sciences. Prof. Leung has delivered more than 50 keynote and invited speeches in many conferences as well as public lectures. He received numerous awards including the Outstanding Earth Champion Hong Kong award in recognizing his contributions in protecting the environment.

Talk Keywords
  Microfluidic power sources, microfluidic fuel cell, alumimum air battery, printable battery, miniwatt devices.
Target Audience
Students, Post doctoral, Industry, Doctors and professors
Speaker-intro video

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)