James Saraidaridis

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Biography: 

My interest in engineering and electrochemical systems probably first began as a child when my mom deflected a question on batteries to “engineers whose whole job it is to study them”. I began studying electrochemistry in earnest while researching polymer batteries/pseudocapacitors at Brown University, where I graduated with a B. Sc. in Chemical Engineering.  After a detour at a local genomics startup where I assessed electrochemical performance in their semiconductor nanodetectors, I returned to battery research via the Monroe Group at the University of Michigan in 2012.  There, I received my M. Sc in Chemical Engineering in 2014. I followed Professor Monroe to Oxford and the EPG group in 2015 to complete my DPhil.

My work focuses on redox flow batteries (RFBs), which store energy in their liquid electrolytes rather than the solid electrodes of conventional batteries. These systems decouple the area where cell reactions occur and reaction materials are stored. This cell architecture offers customizable power-energy ratios, attractive differential energy costs, and lacks issues stemming from the stress and strain of solid electrodes. Consequently, RFBs offer promising grid electricity storage options. My research strives to improve RFB performance and reduce cost through nonaqueous chemistries compatible with simplified cell designs. For instance, symmetric cells, which use positive and negative uncharged electrolytes of the same chemical composition, can avoid the cost of expensive ion exchange membranes used in current state-of-the-art RFBs.

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