Oils and coolants are used as heat transfer mediums in various industries including renewable energy, thermal power stations, nuclear cooling, transportation, aerospace and manufacturing. These conventional oils and coolants suffer from poor thermal conductivity and suboptimal heating/cooling is a major problem in these industries. This research project focuses on the synthesis, thermo-physical characterisation, computational fluid dynamics and application studies of nanofluids and nanolubricants in improving thermal conductivity. This research project is also engaged in interdisciplinary research in heat transfer by combining nanotechnology, fluid mechanics, tribology, biotechnology and other fundamental sciences.
The imminent depletion of fossil fuels and the undesirable consequences of global warming and air pollution have stimulated the research for the development of green, sustainable and highly efficient alternative energy resources as well as energy storage devices. Among the existing electrochemical energy storage systems, batteries and supercapacitors are considered as the major electrical energy storage devices. Batteries can acquire high energy density by employing redox reactions at their electrodes, but they suffer from inadequate power density. On the other hand, supercapacitors are capable of delivering high power density with low energy density. This project’s primary focus is on the development of nanostructured electrode materials for hybrid devices, combining the features of batteries and supercapacitors.
The human body consists of various electroactive substances such as glucose, uric acid, ascorbic acid and dopamine. These substances help the body function but abnormal concentrations of these substances can lead to several diseases. Therefore, the quantitative determination of these substances (bioanalysis) is important. Electrochemical sensors for the measurement of such analytes of interest are ideally suited due to their high sensitivity and selectivity, portable field-based size, rapid response time, and cost. However, traditional unmodified electrodes suffer from poor detection limit, selectivity and stability. This project focuses on the synthesis of simple and robust electrochemical sensing materials for the measurement of analytes.
Approximately 60% of all primary energy sources that are combusted for residential, industrial, commercial and transportation purposes result in waste heat. There is a huge source of underutilised waste heat that has the potential to be converted to usable electricity. The heat is converted to electricity using thermoelectric modules, which can be defined as devices that generate an electric potential from a thermal gradient, or vice versa, without any actuating parts. The thermoelectric field is concerned with improving the efficiency of heat-to-electricity conversion and the flexibility of thermoelectric modules. This project focuses on employing 2D materials to fabricate flexible thermoelectric composites with improved Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity, and lower thermal conductivity.
Emissions due to the consumption of fossil fuels for use in the transportation sector is among the major reasons for the declination in air quality. In an attempt to address this, research is being carried out globally in exploiting the possibilities of adopting green/renewable fuels, emulsion fuels and additive-doped fuels to reduce the harmful exhaust emission from automobiles. This project aims to evaluate the effects of 2D nanomaterials as fuel additives to promote clean combustion and reduce harmful exhaust emission.
Although research has exhibited the potential of reducing harmful exhaust emissions through the utilisation of fuels from renewable sources, it is essential to determine the compatibility between these fuels and fuel delivery materials prior to adopting them for use. The usage of incompatible fuels could accelerate metal corrosion and elastomer degradation, leading to significantly early failure of fuel delivery materials which could culminate in stalling the automobile’s engine during operation. This project aims to determine the compatibility between fuel delivery materials and renewable/emulsion/treated fuels, and provide appropriate recommendations to policymakers in with regards to the usage of alternative fuels.