Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials (LAEM-Lab)

Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials (LAEM-Lab)

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The advanced energy materials laboratory (LAEM-Lab) of the Institute of Chemistry of Organometallic Compounds (ICCOM-CNR) at the National Research Council (CNR) research area of Florence principal activities are: the synthesis and characterization of inorganic, organic and organometallic compounds for various green chemistry applications; the synthesis and the characterization of anodic and cathodic electrocatalysts, in particular those devoid of critical elements (CRM-Free); the design and development of hydrogen and direct alcohol fuel cells (PEMFC and DAFC); the development of water and alcohol electrolyzers (for the sustainable production of hydrogen and added value oxidative products); the development of technologies of CO2 electroreduction (CO2RR) for the energy storage in carbon neutral fuels and chemical intermediates; the development of on-demand production of hydrogen through the alkaline hydrolysis of hydroborates and metals. In addition the laboratory also boasts solid experience in the field in the treatment of materials deriving from exhausted accumulators (batteries) and in the sustainable recovery of their constituent materials.

Field of application

  • Development of innovative materials for the transformation and the energy storage
  • Fuel cells (PEMFC, DAFC, etc)
  • Water and / or alcohol electrolysers
  • Electro-synthesizers (CO2RR, selective electro-oxidation, etc.)
  • Batteries and accumulators
  • Hydrometallurgical recovery


  • Synthesis of inorganic, organic and organometallic compounds.
  • Synthesis of anodic and cathodic electrocatalysts.
  • Morphological-structural, chemical, electrochemical and functional characterization of catalytic and electro-catalytic materials.
  • Characterization of complete fuel cells, electrolyzers and stacks (PEMFC, DAFC and PEM).
  • Design and development of synthetic and scale-up procedures.
  • Electrochemical CO2 conversion and valorization
  • Design of Hydrometallurgical treatments of spent energy materials (batteries) and the recovery of the constitutive components.
  • Design and construction of low and high pressure electrochemical cells and reactors for specific applications.


Material synthesis and treatment
  • Commercial and homemade high pressure reactors (steel and glass)
  • Various glassware for the synthesis of products in controlled atmosphere
  • 300W Microwave oven (max temp 300°C, controlled atmosphere: H2, N2, He, Ar, O2)
  • Quartz ovens (max temp 1000°C, controlled atmosphere: H2, N2, He, Ar, O2)
  • Nabertherm™ Muffle oven (temp range from 30 to 3000°C)
  • Surface polishing machine (REMT LS 2)
  • MBraun Labmaster holder
  • Various homemade hodlers
  • Ball Milling machine (RETSCH MM 400).
  • Hydraulic hot press for the production of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA) GIBITRE, up to 25000 kg load, maximum temperature 250 ° C, max surface 400 cm².
Structural and chemical characterization of materials
  • Shimadzu gas chromatograph with column for light GAS
  • Shimadzu LC8A HPLC comprising chiral and preparative columns and detector array.
  • METROHM 761 compact ion chromatograph.
  • Nicolet 6700 FTIR spectrophotometer.
  • SPECEC reflective module for Nicolet 6700 FTIR spectrometer.
Functional characterization of materials
  • CATLAB reactor consisting of two interconnected modules: a microreactor including temperature and flow control with corrosion resistant gaskets and a QIC-20 quadrupole mass spectrometer system, with double Faraday / channeltron cup electron multiplier.
  • Scribner Associates 850C Fuel Cell Test Station (gas control: flow, pressure, humidification, temperature; potentiostatic and galvanostatic experiments; 50 V max, 10 A max).
  • Scribner Associates 850E Fuel Cell Test Stations (Gas control: flow, pressure, humidification, temperature; potentiostatic and galvanostatic experiments; 50 V max, 20 A max).
  • Four BRONKHORST HI-TECH Flowmeters (from 0.3 mL / min up to 200 L / min).
Electrochemical characterization of materials
  • Two Princeton Parstat 2273 (max. Current 2A, compliance 100V, current resolution 1.2fA, input impedance> 1013 Ohm, capacitance <5pF, integrated impedance analyzer 10 μHz to 1 MHz).
  • Parstat 3000A-DX bi-potentiostat (2 channels, one +/- 30V, +/- 2A, frequency 10uHz-7MHz, the other +/- 10V, +/- 2A, frequency 10uHz-1MHz)
  • ARBIN BT2000 (4 channels, +/- 5 A max, +/- 10 V max).
  • ARBIN LBT21084 (8 channels, +/- 5 A max, +/- 10 V max, stackable).
  • Croma Electronic Variable load 63112A (240A, 80V, 1200W)
  • METROHM PGSTAT101 (10 V max, 100 mA max, resolution 30 A).
  • Rotating disc electrode (RDE) PAR 616.
  • Rotating disc-ring electrode (RRDE) PAR 636A
  • commercial and self-built cells for electrochemical experiments (CV, power curves, static and dynamic potential curves, galvanostatic and dynamic curves, impedance).

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