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European research collaboration to prove feasibility of using starch in energy storage and green catalysis

Posted on 24 April 2017

Scientists in the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) have teamed up with industry partners to turn renewable plant-based resources such as potato starch into a potential energy source for electric cars.

Dr Peter Hurst, Senior Technologist, working in the BDC’s process development scale-up facility

The team, which includes scientists from York’s Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), will be trialling different methods for converting three bio-based starting materials into a porous carbon: potato starch, alginic acid and fruit pectin.

Scientists say the resulting material could be used for energy storage for electric vehicles and as a green catalyst for the chemicals industry.

Duncan Macquarrie, of the University of York’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, said: “The first step in our conversion uses expansion technologies, then we freeze dry the material before converting it into a carbon material using a furnace.

“We are investigating using this as a catalyst for chemical processes and to make batteries for electric vehicles.”

Read the full story here.

Notes to editors:

The four-year project is funded by the EU’s Horizon2020 programme: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/what-horizon-2020