Staff directory Raul Benages Vilau

Raul Benages Vilau

Postdoctoral Researcher
Novel Energy-Oriented Materials



  • Graphene triggered enhancement in visible-light active photocatalysis as well as in energy storage capacity of (CFO)1-x(GNPs)x nanocomposites

    Israr M., Iqbal J., Arshad A., Rani M., Gómez‐Romero P., Benages R. Ceramics International; 46 (3): 2630 - 2639. 2020. 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.09.232. IF: 3.830

    Cobalt ferrite-graphene nanoplatelets ((CFO)1-x(GNPs)x) nanocomposites are promising for efficient photocatalysis and high-performance supercapacitors. Multifunctional (CFO)1-x(GNPs)x nanocomposites prepared via facile chemical method have been investigated for their physio-chemical characteristics like crystal structure, morphology, chemical composition, optical properties, infrared vibrational modes, photocatalytic and supercapacitor applications. Interestingly, the photocatalytic activity of CFO nanostructures has been improved significantly from 38.3% to 98.7% with the addition of graphene which can be attributed to control over recombination of charge carriers. It is also found that the specific capacitance of the prepared (CFO)1-x(GNPs)x nanocomposite electrode at 0.5 Ag-1 is three times higher than that of only CFO based electrode which could be due to the conducting nature of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs). The enhanced photocatalytic and improved electrochemical characteristics suggest the effective use of prepared nanocomposites in water purification and supercapacitor nanodevices. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

  • Multifunctional MgFe2O4/GNPs nanocomposite: Graphene-promoted visible light driven photocatalytic activity and electrochemical performance of MgFe2O4 nanoparticles

    Israr M., Iqbal J., Arshad A., Gómez‐Romero P., Benages R. Solid State Sciences; 110 (106363) 2020. 10.1016/j.solidstatesciences.2020.106363. IF: 2.434

    Herein, the electrochemical and photodegradation properties of magnesium ferrite and graphene-nanoplatelets nanocomposites, (MFO)1-x(GNPs)x, (x = 0.25, 0.50, 0.75) are reported. Benefitting from the effective interfacial interaction of the bi-phase nanocomposite and superior electrical conduction of GNPs, a significant enhancement in supercapacitive performance has been demonstrated. Interestingly, the electrochemical properties of nanocomposite electrode were found to depend on the loading ratio of GNPs. Notably the (MFO)0.50(GNPs)0.50 (50 wt % GNPs) shows an outstanding energy storage capacity i.e., 612 Fg–1 at 0.5 Ag–1 with 21.25 Wh kg−1 energy density at power density of 125 W kg−1 and retains ~76.8 % of the first cycle capacitance after continuous 1500 charge/discharge cycles. Furthermore, the (MFO)0.75(GNPs)0.25 (25 wt % GNPs) composite demonstrates admirable photodegradation efficiency (99.3 % in 60 min of visible light illumination) which is 3.2 times than that of neat MFO nanoparticles. The superior electrochemical and photodegradation performance suggests that the prepared nanocomposites can be effectively utilized in high‐performance energy storage devices and low cost, eco-friendly water purification systems. © 2020 Elsevier Masson SAS


  • Battery and supercapacitor materials in flow cells. Electrochemical energy storage in a LiFePO4/reduced graphene oxide aqueous nanofluid

    Rueda-Garcia D., Cabán-Huertas Z., Sánchez-Ribot S., Marchante C., Benages R., Dubal D.P., Ayyad O., Gómez-Romero P. Electrochimica Acta; 281: 594 - 600. 2018. 10.1016/j.electacta.2018.05.151. IF: 5.116

    Exploring conceptual frontiers between batteries, supercapacitors, redox flow batteries (RFBs) and fuel cells (FCs), we have used a battery material (i.e. LiFePO4) and a supercapacitor material (i.e. graphene) in the form of nanoparticles dispersed in an aqueous electrolyte to characterize the electrochemical activity of the resulting electroactive nanofluids. X-ray diffraction, TEM, Raman, XPS and AFM analyses were carried out to characterize the solid LiFePO4 and RGO components. The corresponding electroactive nanofluids were prepared by dispersion in an aqueous Li2SO4 electrolyte and stabilized with Diaminobenzoic Acid (DABA). Cyclic voltammetry measurements were used to analyze their electrochemical behavior in three-electrode cells. Charge-discharge tests of the LiFePO4/RGO (positive) vs. RGO (negative) nanofluids were also performed. Effective utilization of dispersed electroactive particles (ca. 100 mAh/g(LFP) at 1C) was demonstrated, which turned out to be superior to the same LFP material used as solid electrode. A charge-transfer percolation effect provided by the RGO dispersion is proposed as the mechanism for the good performance of LiFePO4 (not coated with carbon!) and RGO Nanofluids. Our results constitute a first step and proof of concept of the possible application of electroactive nanofluid electrodes in alternative flow batteries. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

  • Hybrid Graphene-Polyoxometalates Nanofluids as Liquid Electrodes for Dual Energy Storage in Novel Flow Cells

    Dubal D.P., Rueda-Garcia D., Marchante C., Benages R., Gomez-Romero P. Chemical Record; 18 (7): 1076 - 1084. 2018. 10.1002/tcr.201700116. IF: 4.891

    Solid Hybrid materials abound. But flowing versions of them are new actors in the materials science landscape and in particular for energy applications. This paper presents a new way to deliver nanostructured hybrid materials for energy storage, namely, in the form of nanofluids. We present here the first example of a hybrid electroactive nanofluid (HENFs) combining capacitive and faradaic energy storage mechanisms in a single fluid material. This liquid electrode is composed of reduced graphene oxide and polyoxometalates (rGO-POMs) forming a stable nanocomposite for electrochemical energy storage in novel Nanofluid Flow Cells. Two graphene based hybrid materials (rGO-phosphomolybdate, rGO-PMo12 and rGO-phosphotungstate, rGO-PW12) were synthesized and dispersed with the aid of a surfactant in 1 M H2SO4 aqueous electrolyte to yield highly stable hybrid electroactive nanofluids (HENFs) of low viscosity which were tested in a home-made flow cell under static and continuous flowing conditions. Remarkably, even low concentration rGO-POMs HENFs (0.025 wt%) exhibited high specific capacitances of 273 F/g(rGO-PW12) and 305 F/g(rGO-PMo12) with high specific energy and specific power. Moreover, rGO-POM HENFs show excellent cycling stability (∼95 %) as well as Coulombic efficiency (∼77–79 %) after 2000 cycles. Thus, rGO-POM HENFs effectively behave as real liquid electrodes with excellent properties, demonstrating the possible future application of HENFs for dual energy storage in a new generation of Nanofluid Flow Cells. © 2018 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim