Key innovation leads to enhanced energy storage

KTP Associate: Declan Bryans

Company: Mersen UK

University: University of Strathclyde

The Project Mersen is a global expert in electrical power and advanced materials with a presence in 35 countries and over 6,400 employees in 50 industrial sites. Their innovative solutions enable clients to optimize their manufacturing performance in sectors such as energy, electronics, transportation, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, and process industries. 

From 2012, Mersen Holytown invested in new continuous carbonisation and graphitisation processes. Carbon and graphite felts were successfully introduced to the market at the end of 2014 and the strategic development of battery-grade materials started in 2018, spearheaded by the KTP project for development and implementation. 

The Future Innovator – Declan Bryans 

  • Developed a key innovation to activate Mersen’s material for use in flow batteries. As a result the material’s performance as an electrode substantially increased, leading to enhanced energy storage
  • This activation process means that the electrolyte can access the material’s internal structure much more easily. This allows more of the electrode material to be exploited while reducing the power required to pump the electrolyte through the felts, increasing performance efficiencies above 90% 
  • This was achieved 1 year ahead of schedule due to Declan’s development of a “Design for Experiment” methodology: using computer modelling with real experimental results his method allows three variables to be optimised simultaneously, dramatically reducing time and number of experiments required – from 350 to 25 – with obvious benefits for project completion timescales
  • Declan’s presentation at the prestigious International Flow Battery Forum hosted in Lyon, July 2019, to an audience of prospective clients and academics, was very well received.
  • Declan recently won the Young Professionals Green Energy Innovation Award.

Winners of this category will be announced in advance of the KTP Virtual Awards Ceremony which is at 4-5pm on Wednesday 9 September. Join us in our virtual world to celebrate all the winners – register here.

See below for a profile of each of the 18 finalists in the Future Innovator category of this year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards:

Muddasar Anwar  Delivering innovation for Sustainable Drainage System to prevent flooding.

Blessing Mbipom Creating online learning for GPs.

Laurence Foster: Innovations to “print” structures, transforming house building.

Declan Bryans: Creating greener energy with innovations in flow batteries.

Elle Perschke: Applying B2C methodologies to launch a new product within a B2B company.

Mark Gilmore: Development of new class of greener ionic liquid, with multiple potential applications.

Khai Nguyen: Inventing a new silicone composite for consumer fixing brand, Sugru.

Swapnil Khadke: Creating new liposome formulations for application in drug delivery

Leona McGirr: Creating an Antibody Library for fully human antibodies.

Dan Hicks: Developing a new design and testing process for electric trails bikes.

Dmitry Bogachov: Advancing Materials Science for Anilox technology.

Andrew Grounds: Transforming business models for Social Enterprise.

Lyndsey McKirdy: Enhancing data science capability at Aggreko.

Jack Tallant: Transforming reporting and delivery of Charity’s activities.

Xi Liu: Using AI to develop fraud detection and prevention services for law firm.

Alex Komninos: Transforming spreadsheets in to cognitive models at IBM

Harvey Kangley: Delivering exceptional NPD for rail electrification

George Harris: Developing advanced engineering for intruder detection systems.

The Future Innovator category of the KTP Awards is supported by Ashorne Hill – a specialist training company which runs training programmes for all KTP Associates.

Want to find out more about working as a KTP Associate? More information here, and see the latest vacancies here.






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