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Center for Energy Materials

The Centre for Energy Materials (CEM) mission is to conduct outstanding interdisciplinary research and to exploit the results in specific industrial applications. The CEM targets five very promising areas within energy science:

  1. Thermoelectric materials
  2. Gas storage materials
  3. Photocatalytic hydrogen production
  4. Nanoparticles for energy applications
  5. Biofuel production

Short overview

There is an urgent need to develop new alternative energy sources and improving energy efficiency. Denmark and most other countries do not have a single renewable energy available to replace fossil fuel. Thus, the future energy supply must integrate several contributions. The Centre for Energy Materials (CEM) will target five very promising areas within energy science: (1) Thermoelectric materials, (2) Gas storage materials, (3) Photocatalytic hydrogen production and water remediation, (4) Nanoparticles for energy applications, and (5) Biofuel production.

A breakthrough in just one of these areas will have a monumental impact on modern society. Just imagine if reliable low temperature cooling was available for superconductors in power transmission, or if waste heat from industrial processes could be efficiently harvested as electricity, or if organic waste could be cheaply converted to diesel fuel, or if solar energy converted to hydrogen could be easily stored in mobile applications. CEM will unite and vastly expand the strong but separate projects currently conducted by iNANO.

Technology (IET), Aalborg University, in energy materials research, and couple these efforts with outstanding expertise from complementary international research groups and Danish industrial companies. CEM will complement the existing strong Danish activities, e.g., in fuel cells, wind mills and bioethanol by focusing on other important energy technologies. The CEM mission is to conduct outstanding interdisciplinary research and to exploit the results in specific industrial applications. The Center will have a critical mass with education of >22 post docs and PhD students, and this will make CEM a power house in energy science. CEM will have a comprehensive scientific approach encompassing synthesis, multi-technique characterization and modeling with all activities directly tied to commercialization via strong participation by Danish industry.

The ambition of CEM is to carry out international cutting-edge research on important emerging energy technologies. The scientific core of CEM is the design, preparation, characterization and application of novel materials for energy production, energy conversion, energy storage and improved energy efficiency. As mentioned five main areas are targeted: (1) thermoelectrics, (2) photocatalytic hydrogen production and water remediation, (3) hydrogen storage, (4) nanoparticles for energy applications and (5) biofuel production. The activities aim at end-use applications in close collaboration with the Danish industry. CEM will offer the highest level of energy education in Denmark and directly fund >22 post doc and PhD researchers. CEM will directly support the Danish industry in discovering new markets and increasing the Danish energy technology exports, and assure that highly skilled employees are available.

In Denmark there are strong academic and industrial activities, e.g., in fuel cell technology (e.g., the Strategic Electrochemistry Research Center SERC), wind mills and bioethanol. However, these technologies are just some of the future energy technologies that must be developed in order to cover the world's needs. CEM has a clear strategic goal of complementing the existing Danish energy related activities by focusing on other very promising technologies. The future energy system will not be based on a single source. The CEM activities are directed towards materials development, since new energy materials potentially are of very high commercial value. However, a material is useless if not developed in the correct context. Thus, CEM includes major academic and industrial expertise in energy technology. It is in the combination of outstanding academic, technological and industrial expertise that CEM will find its unique strength.

Expected main results

  • Discovery of new high-performance thermoelectric materials
  • Development of record-breaking thermoelectric clathrates
  • Development and commercial implementation of clathrate and Zn4Sb3 based Thermo-Electric Generators (TEGs)
  • Synthesis and characterization of a wide range of new TE materials
  • Development and application of new system-level models for TE modulesDiscovery of novel high-performance hydrogen storage materials
  • Synthesis and characterization of a wide range of new hydrogen storage materials
  • Synthesis and characterization of a wide range of nanoparticles for hydrogen production, hydrogen release and uptake, water remediation, thermoelectrics and catalysis
  • Comprehensive studies of photocatalytic activity and stability of metal-oxide nano particles under reaction conditions
  • Development of energy efficient and environmentally friendly synthesis methods for selected nanoparticles with improved purity, size control and performance
  • Synthesis and characterization of a range of new catalysts for the conversion of organic waste to fuel products and specialty chemicals.
  • Improved feed stock and product control in high-pressure conversion of organic waste
  • Increased energy efficiency in feed stock conversion by process optimization
  • Publication of >100 papers in international peer reviewed journals
  • Filing of international patents for new materials for energy applications
  • Education of >22 post docs and PhDs within energy research

The Centre Director Professor Bo Brummerstedt Iversen works at the Department of Chemistry, University of Aarhus which also serves as the Centre headquarters.

There will be participants from both academia and industry as shown below:

  • iNANO
  • Institute for Energy Technology (IET), Aalborg University
  • Chalmers University
  • Dantherm A/S
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Grundfos A/S
  • PANCO GmbH
  • SCF Technologies

Primary involving the following researcher from iNANO:

  • Bo Brummerstedt Iversen,
  • Flemming Besenbacher,
  • Torben Rene Jensen,
  • Jørgen Skibsted,


For more information contact:

Centre Director: Bo Brummerstedt Iversen
Tel:     +45 8942 3969
Department of Chemistry
University of Aarhus
Langelandsgade 140
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Centre Vice-Director: Lasse Rosendahl
Tel:    +45 9940 9263
Department 14
Aalborg University
Pontoppidanstræde 101
DK-9220 Aalborg Ø

Centre Secretary: Charlotte Secher
Tel:   +45 8942 3884
Department of Chemistry
University of Aarhus
Langelandsgade 140
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Comments on content: 
Revised 2012.05.30

Aarhus University
Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Tel: +45 8715 0000
Fax: +45 8715 0201

CVR no: 31119103

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