Jonathan received his Masters degree in Chemical Engineering (M.Eng) from the University of Birmingham in July 2011. Throughout the duration of his study he has been involved in several projects.
His first major project (2008) was to investigate the use of a synthetic jet for mixing purposes. In the process, a demonstration model of a synthetic jet was successfully fabricated where fluid flow patterns could be easily traced. This enabled optimisation of the design and identification of the characteristic zones in the ‘Syn-jet’ reactor. Conclusions from this study included the possible application as a singular reactor vessel or as a retrofit to enhance mixing profiles in plug flow reactors.
For his M.Eng research project, he was supervised by Prof Bruno Pollet and investigated the effect of ultrasound on PEFC catalyst ink materials. Various sonication parameters (duration, power etc.) were studied for their effects on Nafion® and catalyst performance. Various commercial Pt catalyst types were characterised using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Electrochemical Surface Area (ECSA). The results for this study showed a non-linear relationship between sonication time and its effect on catalyst and Nafion® morphology; these were attributed to the aggregation phenomena observed for Pt nanoparticles and dynamic degradation of polymers with different ultrasound treatment and durations.
His initial exposure to fuel cell research led to an M.Res programme in Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and their Applications; again supervised by Prof Bruno Pollet and Dr Surbhi Sharma at the University of Birmingham. The focus: electrochemical and other characterisation methods for Pt/C catalyst inks where surfactants were used in the Pt nanoparticle synthesis. This study also included comparisons with graphene oxide supported Pt catalysts. The outcomes from this work are due to be presented at the CATSA 2012 conference. In September 2012, he joined HySA Systems on a 3 year doctoral research tenure.
Conferences & presentations (past and upcoming)
1. Poster presentation – ‘Investigating the Effect of Ultrasound on Fuel Cell Materials’, 7th Annual International Conference, Exhibition and Partnering Event “Generating the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Society”, Gallery Suite, NEC Birmingham, 30 March 2011
2. Conference presentation (not attended) – ‘Novel Electrocatalyst Support Materials for High Temperature PEMFC’, 3rd CARISMA International Conference on Medium and High Temperature PEM Fuel Cells, Copenhagen, 3-5 Sept 2012
3. Oral Presentation – ‘Electrochemical Characterisation of Pt/C surfactant catalyst inks and comparisons with commercial Pt/C and Pt/GO, CATSA 2012 Conference, Langebaan, Cape Town, 11-14 November 2012