Professor Alex Shechter

  1. Alex Schechter

Fuel Cell and Electrochemistry Group at Ariel University

(https://www.ariel.ac.il/sites/alex-schechter)

 

Dr. Alex Schechter has very rich experience in energy storage and conversion R&D projects conducted in Israel and USA. He finished his Ph.D. at BIU with Prof. Aurbach, investigating lithium and magnesium anodes for rechargeable batteries. As a postdoctoral fellow, he was part of a research group at CWRU (USA), which developed membranes and studied electrodes reactions for micro fuel cells.

Dr. Schechter served until recently as the Chemical Sciences department chair. He is the founder of the center for hybrid energy systems at Ariel University and the leader of his fuel cells and electrochemistry group at AU.

The Fuel Cell and Electrochemistry Group at Ariel University

The fuel cell and electrochemistry group is one of the leading alternative energy centers in the Israeli academic arena. The main course of interest is research of advance materials for fuel cells and electrochemical phenomena. Our team combines a unique interdisciplinary approach brought together by chemists, electrochemists and chemical and material engineers with extensive experience in battery and fuel cells both academic and industrial. Therefore, our studies are directed towards applied research supported by fundamental understanding of the materials on a molecular level.

Currently, we investigate the formation, properties and reaction mechanism of catalysts developed for fuel cells applications including: platinum free oxygen reduction catalysts based on metal chacogenides, transition metal macro-cyclic molecules and nitrogen doped CNT for acidic for alkaline and microbial fuel cells. In addition, the research activity involves studies of novel catalysts support based on nano structures of Tin (Sn) and Titanium (Ti) for direct methanol FC (DMFC) direct and other related organic alternative fuels. These investigations are conducted from fundamental DFT calculations to implementation in FC prototypes.

Ariel's FC lab is also active in other fuel cells related areas, including hydrogen production form wastes, hydrogen generation on demand by a mechano-chemical devices and development of a stable alkaline membrane.

Ariel group activity in TEPS is done in close collaboration with “Electric fuel”, a world leader in zinc air batteries. The goal of this research is to develop an air selective membrane with high permeability of oxygen and low permeability of carbon dioxide and water. These selective membranes, which were recently patented, are a key component in metal air batteries and alkaline fuel cells and an enabling technology in rechargeable zinc–air batteries. We were able to demonstrate a bio-inspired structure of ultra-thin, few micrometers thick membrane, with submicron skin within pores (fig. 1). Imbedded in the structure are oxygen carriers which facilitate the binding of molecular oxygen from the air side to the cathode.

Figure 1. SEM image of OSM (Oxygen Selective Membrane). Scale bar 10µm.

The fuel cell and electrochemistry group is one of the leading alternative energy centers in the Israeli academic arena. The main course of interest is research of advanced materials for fuel cells and electrochemical phenomena. Our team combines a unique interdisciplinary approach brought together by chemists, electrochemists and chemical and material engineers with extensive experience in battery and fuel cells, both academic and industrial. Therefore, our studies are directed towards applied research supported by fundamental understanding of the materials on a molecular level.

Assisted by strong relationship with other research groups in TEPS and other universities, as well as good record of industrial collaborations and entrepreneurial activity in of spinoff companies, Ariel’s fuel cell and electrochemistry group intends to promote renewable energy solutions for transportation in Israel.

Currently, we investigate the formation, properties and reaction mechanism of catalysts developed for fuel cells applications including: platinum free oxygen reduction catalysts based on metal chalcogenides, transition metal macro-cyclic molecules and nitrogen doped CNT for acidic, alkaline, and microbial fuel cells. In addition, the research activity involves studies of novel catalysts support based on nano structures of Tin (Sn) and Titanium (Ti) for direct methanol FC (DMFC) and other related organic alternative fuels. These investigations are conducted from fundamental DFT calculations to implementation in FC prototypes. A new research is focused on Oxygen reduction reaction using electrochemical atomic force microscopy.

Ariel's FC lab is also active in other fuel cells related areas, including hydrogen production form wastes, development of catalyst for urea oxidation and anion exchange membrane for direct urea fuel cells and/or urea-based hydrogen generators.