Professor Jose Alarco

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Role in the Centre

Professor Jose A. Alarco leads both fundamental and applied research into new battery materials and technologies, and superconductors, through the Centre for Materials Science and Centre for Clean Energies at QUT. Jose’s expertise spans the broader definition of materials science, going from materials prediction to synthesis of materials at pilot scale, microstructural and property characterisation, and the development and demonstration of applications. He has more recently added computational quantum mechanics and experience at the Australian Synchrotron beamlines to his set of complementary skills for new material characterization, fundamental understanding and materials design. Jose has experience working with industry and has ongoing projects with the mining industry. He is currently involved in a major ARENA H2Export project led by Professor Ian Mackinnon. In this project, Jose is part of the team developing high energy density battery materials with improved cyclability and building battery packs as back-up power for electrolyser operation. He is also involved in battery projects funded by the Future Battery Industries CRC.

Short Biography

Jose has an undergraduate degree in Physics from National University of Engineering in Peru and a PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He has been involved in R&D of battery and other nanotechnology materials for over two decades, both within academic and commercial organisations. He has co-developed and holds around 70 patents in 13 families on generic processes for the manufacture of nano-scale complex, metal oxides and for applications in catalysis, batteries, electronics, and other chemical/physical processes. Much of his work has involved translating manufacturing processes from lab to pilot plant scale at tonnes per week level. He is a former co-founder of a scientific consultancy and an industrial R&D company. Over his career, he has helped attract more than $30M in R&D and commercial investment.

Jose has been involved in collaborations with international chemical and battery companies such as BASF, Engelhard, Valence Technology, Sud Chemie, Degussa, Phostech Lithium, Lishen Battery Co and A123. He was a Chief Investigator in the Auto CRC Project led by Professor Peter Talbot, with over $4 million awarded to QUT for R&D on lithium-ion battery production scale-up for energy-efficient vehicles in Malaysia and Australia. Subsequent to this project, pilot cell manufacturing facilities have been established at the QUT Banyo Pilot Plant Precinct. He is a Co-Investigator in the S7.7M ARENA H2Export Project on Cost Effective Renewable Hydrogen through Materials, Modelling and Process Innovation, led by Professor Ian Mackinnon. He is also a Chief Investigator in the Future Battery Industry (FBI) CRC project for the establishment of a National Battery Testing Facility.

Selected publications

“Spectroscopic evidence of surface Li-depletion of Lithium transition metal phosphates” Zhang, Y.; Nerkar, J. Y.; Best, A. S.; Snook, G.A.; Talbot, P.C.; Cowie, B. C. C.; Alarco, J. A. ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2020, 3(3), 2856-2866.

“Nanoscale characteristics of practical LiFePO4 materials – Effects on electrical, magnetic and electrochemical properties” Zhang, Y.; Alarco, J. A.; Nerkar, J. Y.; Best, A. S.; Snook, G.A.; Talbot, P.C. Materials Characterization 2020, 162, 110171.

“Precision structural and phase analysis of boron carbide” Watts, J. L.; Spratt, H. J.; Talbot, P.C., Alarco, J. A.; Raftery, N. A and Mackinnon, I. D. R. Ceramics International 2020, 46(8), 11033-11040.

“Improving the rate capability of LiFePO4 electrode by controlling particle size distribution” Zhang, Y.; Alarco, J. A.; Nerkar, J. Y.; Best, A. S.; Snook, G.A. and Talbot, P.C. Journal of The Electrochemical Society 2019, 166(16), A4128-A4135.

“Re-evaluation of Experimental Measurements for the Validation of Electronic Band Structure Calculations for LiFePO4 and FePO4” Zhang, Y.; Alarco, J. A.; Nerkar, J. Y.; Best, A. S.; Snook, G.A.; Talbot, P. C.; Nerkar, J. Y. RSC Advances 2019, 9(2), 1134-1146.