Addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainability has never been more important and, increasingly, AMBER researchers across all themes are contributing to finding materials science solutions in areas such as biobased materials, circular processes for plastics and energy efficiency. Profs Coleman and Nicolosi demonstrated a 2.5X increase in battery power density and lifetime as a result of the incorporation of carbon nanotubes into the electrode material. This work was published in Nature Energy in 2020. As well as enabling more power efficient mobile devices, this research may also address challenges associated with integration of renewables into the grid.
We have identified sustainable materials as a growth target for AMBER phase II, building critical mass through engagement with government initiatives, industry projects and European funding programmes. In late 2020, the centre secured €2M from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to develop a research ecosystem focused on next generation wood-based materials and chemicals which can realise high value products from Irish forestry. This NXTGENWOOD programme extends beyond AMBER, bringing together researchers in TCD, UCC, NUIG and the SFI Centre for the Bioeconomy (BiOrbic), with input from the Irish State-owned forestry business (Coillte), Enterprise Ireland and industry. The outcomes of this work are expected to increase the value of Irish forestry-derived products- currently based on low value, low quality timber, enabling the creation of high value jobs in the sector while maximizing carbon capture and minimising environmental degradation and climate impacts. The momentum built around this new research area has also enabled adjacent activities in AMBER, including the DeMANS MSCA RISE programme which is focussed on developing 3D printing for wood and other sustainable materials in partnership with New Zealand Forestry Institute SCION.We are currently developing a strategy for industry projects in this space.
AMBER has a strong emphasis on collaboration. Central to AMBER’s research remit are collaborative projects performed with industry partners, and working with academic, industry and wider stakeholder on international and national research programmes.Get in touch