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Energy Conversion & Storage - Business Development Manager

Dr Sneh Jain is based at the University of St Andrews and works closely with Dr Scott Lilley and Prof John Irvine, the ETP leader for this energy theme.

Sneh completed her PhD in Chemistry and MSc in Managing Environmental Change at the University of St Andrews.  She has held postdoctoral research positions at Loughborough University looking at the movement of radionuclides in the geosphere, and the University of St Andrews, studying direct carbon fuel cells.  Most recently Sneh has worked for Prof. John Irvine looking at impurities in hydrogen gas streams.


For more information


Dr Sneh Jain - Business Development Manager for Energy Conversion & Storage

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Energy Conversion and Storage

Research and development in energy conversion and storage are becoming increasingly important due to the increasing energy demand for economic and social development and it is fast becoming one of the principal challenges facing the energy sector Energy storage can be defined as simply storing energy generated during periods of low demand to use during periods of high demand.

ETP Expertise in Energy Conversion and Storage

Electrical energy can be used to produce gaseous and liquid fuels as well as feedstock chemicals. Potential applications include converting off-peak renewable electricity to hydrogen for injection into the gas network, road fuel and other applications. ETP universities are studying the electrolyser-grid interface, efficient high temperature electrolysis and new ceramic oxide electrode materials.

Fuel Cells 

Fuel cells convert fuels into electricity and heat. The various fuel cell types allow varied applications in electrical grid management, long range electric vehicles and even in household heat and power generation. ETP has research in; new materials for use in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC); the integration of renewables and hydrogen; new ceramic proton conductors and new materials for advanced alkaline fuel cells. 

Hydrogen Storage Materials 

If hydrogen is to be used as an energy vector it must be cheaply and safely, stored and transported. This area includes research into; the electrochemical synthesis of ammonia for energy storage; lithium nitrides, imides and amides as lightweight, reversible hydrogen stores and sustainable materials processing. Other significant applications of gas storage materials include sensors and drug delivery.


Waste heat, generated by vehicle engines, can be scavenged to provide on-board electricity. ETP has expertise in new thermoelectric materials including layered semiconductors, Zintle phases, and framework solids as well as in device design and integration.


Batteries are critical for electric vehicles and will become increasingly important in managing diverse and unpredictable renewable generation on the electricity grid. ETP has academics studying advanced materials for lithium ion batteries, redox flow batteries and potentially step-change battery technologies such as lithium-air.


The scientists within ETP embrace many different disciplines including Chemical and materials synthesis, Chemical and materials characterization, Electrochemistry Heterogeneous catalysis Surface characterisation Systems design, Computer simulation and modelling and Process engineering


ETP universities are engaged in a number of collaborative programs involving academics and industry from across the UK and beyond including: Supergen, ETP is engaged in the energy storage, delivery of sustainable hydrogen and fuel cell programs; Horizon 2020, this is a European program investigating Sulphur, Carbon, and re-Oxidation Tolerant Anodes and Anode Supports for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells; and SHFCA, the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, a body promoting Scottish capability in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector.


UKES2016 - UK Energy Storage Conference

Venue: University of Birmingham

Date:Wednesday 30th November - Friday 2nd December 2016.


Following the success of last year's conference at the University of Birmingham, the Energy SUPERSTORE, Energy Storage Research Network and the STFC Network in Battery Science and Technology are hosting the third UK Energy Storage Research Conference (UKES2016). In line with the ethos of the Energy SUPERSTORE, the conference endeavours to bring together researchers from academia, industry and policy and from across the whole field of energy storage, providing an inclusive platform for presentations through talks and poster sessions and inspiring collaborations for future research.

The Call for Abstracts for UKES2016 is open at and the Call document can be found here. Please encourage your colleagues to submit their abstract through the website, before the deadline of Wednesday the 31st August 2016.


Please contact Jacqueline Edge at for more information.


H2FC SUPERGEN Researcher Conference

Venue: Ulster University, Belfast

Date: 12th-14th Dec 2016


Call for Abstracts

The UK’s first inclusive Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research hub (H2FC) SUPERGEN - call for abstracts for the annual Researcher Conference to be held at the Ulster University, Belfast, from midday 12th until midday 14th December 2016.

PhD students and early career researchers, along with academics and industrialists are requested to send a half to one page abstracts for the conference detailing their research and giving an overview of the results they wish to present to by Friday 7th October 2016. The topics will focus on research developments on hydrogen, fuel cells and their applications, please visit the conference information and registration page on the H2FC SUPERGEN website for a list of themes.

This conference will include insights and observations on the future of the industry from key representatives working in government, industry and academia. The discussions will cover not only the research developments and challenges but also new and exciting opportunities for hydrogen and fuel cell research. The list of key-note speakers will be publicised soon.

PhD students, who are not giving a oral presentation, are encouraged to join the 3-minute-thesis (3MT) competition, summarising their research in a three minute presentation. In the abstract submission please also indicate a preference for an oral or poster presentation, and if you wish to take part in the 3MT competition. There will be prizes for the best poster and 3MT presentation.




2nd Chemistry in Energy Conference 2017

Venue: University of Sheffield, UK

Date: 17th-19th July 2017


Building on the success of the 1st “Chemistry in Energy” Conference, the Energy Sector of the Royal Society of Chemistry is pleased to announce that it is organising and promoting the 2nd “Chemistry in Energy” conference to be hosted by and at the University of Sheffield.

The purpose of this Conference is to bring together scientists and technologists from academia and industry with interests in the applications of Chemistry in the Energy Industry. This RSC Energy Sector 2nd “Chemistry in Energy” Conference aims to embrace all aspects of energy–related research, where chemistry and the chemical sciences play a key or underpinning role in solving the UK’s combined energy challenges of carbon emissions, energy costs and security of supply. The scope of the conference will be broad and will include all energy forms and technologies.

The Edge Conference Centre is located on the Endcliffe Village Campus of the University of Sheffield, about 1.5 miles west of the city centre.


Full details of the conference may be found on the event website.





H2FC SUPERGEN Call “H2FC SUPERGEN Visiting Researcher Scheme”

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cells SUPERGEN Hub has a scheme to enable researcher exchange between industry and academia, or academia and government. The aim of this scheme is to promote closer collaboration with academic research in the fields of hydrogen and fuel cells. This scheme will enable i) PhD students and researchers from UK universities to spend time undertaking research in industry or government, and/or ii) researchers from industry or government to undertake research in academia. The scheme can provide funds of up to £6,000 per application (at usual EPSRC rates of 80% FEC) to cover the direct costs of this exchange (such as travel, accommodation and subsistence). Please note that salary costs, bench fees or student fees are not covered. All research visits must take between partners based within the UK. The scheme will be open for applications until end of October 2016, but limited funds are available so the scheme will be closed once all the funds are committed. The duration of the exchange is flexible, however a minimum of 1 month and maximum of 5 months is generally expected. All spend must be completed by the end of March 2017.

To find out ore click here.

Scottish Energy Laboratory - Energy Storage facilities

In partnership with ETP energy sector test facilities have been brought together under the Scottish Energy Laboratory (SEL) umbrella. Facilities of particular relevance to energy conversion and storage are:


Facility Name

SEL Member



SEL 10

Scottish Institute for Solar Energy research

Herriot watt University

SEL 12

Scottish Energy Centre (SEC)

Edinburgh Napier University

SEL 15

Fuel Cell Laboratory

University of Strathclyde

SEL 16

Electrical Power Systems Protection Laboratory

University of Strathclyde

SEL 17

Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC)

University of Strathclyde

SEL 18

Energy Technology Test Facilities

University of Strathclyde

SEL 22

Integrated Energy Materials Process and Characterisation Facility

University of St Andrews

SEL 23

New Energy Materials Test Facility

University of St Andrews

SEL 24

Li-ion Battery Development Test Facility

University of St Andrews

SEL 25

Hydrogen Laboratory

University of Highlands and Islands

SEL 27

ETC – Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Test Facility

Energy Technology Centre

SEL 28

ETC- Mechanical Test Facility

Energy Technology Centre

SEL 29

Myres Hill National Wind Energy Test Site


SEL 31

Thermal Engineering Test facility


SEL 44

BRE Innovation Park Ravenscraig

Building Research institute (BRE)

For more details visit



Energy Conversion & Storage - Case Study

Ceimig Ltd - A spin out from the University of St Andrews. Ceimig manufacture fine chemicals including catalysts. One of the products that they sell is a Platinum based catalyst for use in PEM fuel cells. The product currently has several issues (i) the platinum catalyst is embedded on carbon and degrades in operation; (ii) the catalyst surface area can be improved for better performance and (ii) the catalyst is mobile within the electrochemical cell and can cause short circuiting in the cell.

An ETP supported project with the University of St Andrews has allowed the company to look at the catalyst and the support material. Through two analytical techniques, Ceimig has been able to develop a mechanism of producing a more stable catalyst with a good surface area.

While further work is required to address all the issues, Ceimig are in a stronger position to develop and market their new product.




If you would like to find out more about what ETP can do for companies in the Energy Conversion & Storage field contact


Case Study - Cascade Technologies Ltd.

Cascade Technologies, a manufacturer of high-technology laser based gas analysers were identified as a Scottish SME who would benefit for ETP support.

The ECS BDM approached them to establish how the ETP KEN project might assist them. Cascade had already identified hydrogen fuel and carbon capture and storage as key areas where new markets might emerge. However, Cascade lacked expertise and contacts in these fields. The BDM made introductions to relevant academic and business contacts. It became clear there were opportunities for Cascade's technology in the hydrogen fuels sector and the BDM proposed an application to the TSB (now Innovate-UK) for funding. The BDM provided support in building the project team, and assisted with the application, which was successful.

The consortium comprises Cascade Technologies, end users BOC and ITM Power and the University of St Andrews who are now collaborating on the development a new tool for the quality assurance of hydrogen fuel. This new laser based approach could mean real-time online chemical analysis of fuel impurities at the fuel pump, without the need for a scientist or laboratory. The Company’s proprietary systems have the capability to measure up to 20 different gases simultaneously, in real-time, at much higher speed and accuracy than any other product on the market This fit-and-forget technology promises to dramatically increase the confidence which tomorrow's drivers can expect to have in their fuel.

The support provided through the KEN project has resulted in major benefits to this Scottish SME, since they have not only received a grant of £602k from Innovate-UK but are working closely with end users in a new market for their technology.



EU funding opportunities available in Scotland can be found at:

  • There is also a catalogue of projects which have already been funded in Scotland via the EU.
The Interreg Europe programme financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs and European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes. 
Information about the Interreg programmes can be found at:
  • These support projects that explore and evaluate the technical potential of an early-stage idea or concept through technical feasibility studies in the energy sector with the aim to establish if a pre-industrial concept is ready for further technology development. Projects may receive between £50,000 and £300,000 for up to one year. The total budget of the programme is £10 million.