Lior Elbaz received his PhD in chemical engineering from the Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and is currently an Associate Professor at the Bar-Ilan University, Israel. During his graduate studies, he specialized in electrochemistry and worked on the development of bio-inspired catalysts for fuel cells. He continued his research in the field at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, USA, a world leader in the development of fuel cell technology; there he worked on various aspects of this technology, from electrocatalysis to inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and engineering as a postdoctoral associate. During his time there, he expended his interests into photovoltaics and metal-air batteries. He is now continuing his research on renewable energy related projects at the Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Lior established the Israeli Fuel Cells Consortium in 2016 with the support of the Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative of the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, and heads it. This is a 12-member labs consortium with representation from all major universities in Israel. Lior is also involved in several research projects with industrial pratenrs who develop unique fuel cells.
Postdoctoral Associate Sep. 2009- Apr. 2013
MPA-11 group, Materials, Physics and Applications Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, USA.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel (combined with M.Sc.).
Ben-Gurion University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Israel.
The dependence of the free world on fossil fuels is increasing rapidly, whereas the world’s reserves are diminishing. Moreover, the effect of using such fuels on climate change, public health and nature is detrimental. The best way to reduce this dependence and even eliminate it is the further development of renewable energy technologies such as solar cells and fuel cells, which have the potential to power our automobiles, households and industry. In order for them to take over the energy market, scientific breakthroughs are needed.
The advancement in the commercialization of fuel cells is hampered by the high cost of their components, and especially the catalysts - Pt in most cases. Although it is the premium catalyst both at the anode and cathode of most low temperature fuel cells, the notion that even the most ingenious improvements in platinum nano-structure and alloying synthesis cannot dispel the issue of this catalyst scarcity and cost escalation, it is a prudent endeavor to develop inexpensive catalysts for oxygen reduction (ORR) which can be obtained from abundant and sustainable sources in order to realize the eagerly anticipated mass commercialization of fuel cells.
Since the discovery of their ability to catalyze the ORR and up until today, there has been a continuous growth in the interest in macrocyclic compounds. Researchers in various fields, from biology to physics and chemistry, have investigated the ORR mechanism and modified the macrocyclic structures and transition metal complexes to achieve better catalytic performance. While good catalytic activity was demonstrated under certain conditions, further development is needed in order to make them competitive with platinum based catalysts.
Our projects aim at developing bio-inspired catalysts for ORR as well as improving precious metal based catalysts for fuel cells. We also study and develop new materials for fuel cell s and batteries that could extend their durability and increase their activity. We are looking for excellent, motivated PhD students and postdocs who are willing to take on the task of making this world cleaner and better. We are currently looking for candidates from the fields of electrochemistry, inorganic chemistry and materials chemistry.
Research Interest (in no specific order):
Alternative energy technologies (fuel cells, batteries and photovoltaics).
Porphyrins and transition metal complexes.
Carbon supports for alternative energy applications (electrodes, electron acceptors).
Electrochemistry – Undergraduate level – Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Introduction to Chemical Engineering for Chemists - Graduate level – Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Materials Seminar - Undergraduate level – Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Physical Chemistry lab - Undergraduate level – Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
General Chemistry – Undergraduate level - Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Introduction to polymers (TA) – Undergraduate level - Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
Chemical Engineering Fundamentals III – Mass transfer (TA) - Undergraduate level, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
Chemical Engineering Lab – Mass transfer - Undergraduate level - Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
Chemical Engineering Lab – Heat transfer - Undergraduate level - Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
1) Advanced catalysts for direct electro-oxidation of dimethyl ether in fuel cells (L. Elbaz, R. Sharabi and B. Gavriel, 2018, WO 2018/047188 Al)
2) Porphyrin aerogels as catalysts for oxygen reduction in fuel cells (L. Elbaz, N. Zion, 2021, WO2021/048849 A1)