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Deakin University Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Maria Forsyth, has told ABC Radio National’s Future Tense program that sodium could be the new lithium in the search to find better ways to store green energy.
“It has taken us 20 years to get to where we are with lithium storage,” Professor Forsyth said.
“Because of that experience, the process in developing sodium storage systems should be a lot quicker.
“And the great advantage is that sodium is much more readily available than lithium.”
Professor Forsyth and her team of researchers at Deakin, alongside collaborators within the Australian Centre of Excellence in Electromaterials Science (ACES), are leading the world in finding ways to better store green energy - solar, wind and wave power.
Her appearance on Future Tense coincided with the recent bi-annual symposium of ACES in Geelong.
Professor Forsyth is Associate Research Director of ACES and heads up the research node within Deakin’s new Institute for Frontier Materials.
The symposium brought together some of the world’s leading researchers including Professor Forsyth's extended family of “five generations” of electromaterials scientists.
“It was pretty amazing,” Professor Forsyth said. “Those five generations were Austen Angell, Doug Macfarlane, me, Nolene Byrne and two of Nolene’s PhD students, Nicolas Goujon and Natalie Debeljuh.
“Doug did his PhD with Austen at Purdue University.
“I did my PhD with Doug, I supervised Nolene and she is now supervising Nicolas and Natalie.
“I do suspect however, Austen wasn’t all that keen on being a great grandfather of science!”
A key part of the conference was a breakfast forum titled: Industry, Government and Research collaboration towards cleaner more efficient energy generation and energy storage – PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE.
“This was very successful in establishing projects and building partnerships between ACES, industry and Government as we strive to find cleaner and more efficient energy production and energy storage technologies,” Professor Forsyth said.