XS grant for Antoni Forner Cuenca

August 25, 2020

NWO grant to develop novel membranes for the energy storage of the future.

Antoni Forner Cuenca, researcher in the Membrane Materials and Processes group of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, has received an XS grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for his research into a new class of membranes for improved redox flow batteries. This research will impact the fields of polymer membranes and electrochemical technologies for large-scale energy storage.

NWO has received 284 applications for the XS grant, of which only 24 have been awarded.

Schematic overview of a Redow Flow Battery

The best of both worlds: blending microporosity and ion-selectivity for next-generation membranes for all-organic redox flow batteries
Decarbonizing the energy economy is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. Renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar power, must be increasingly incorporated into the electricity grid. The challenge is that these sources are intermittent and unpredictable and, thus, large-scale and low-cost energy storage capacity must be installed to balance generation and demand. Redox flow batteries are promising, however radical innovations in materials science are needed to enhance efficiency and durability of this technology. In this project, the researchers will develop novel polymeric membrane materials that combine very small pores with ion-selectivity for next-generation energy storage.

About XS grants
The NWO Domain Science has established a new category in the Open Competition with the aim of encouraging curiosity and new ideas in research as part of promising, high-risk projects: XS proposals. These are proposals for ground-breaking research with a real risk of failure. The XS category emphatically strives to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research involving a relatively quick analysis of a promising idea. As an applicant, you are also an assessor in the XS assessment process; this is a pilot and not a regular NWO procedure.