Patrick Tung | X-ray vision: revealing secrets to resurrect batteries
Next time you think of throwing out your old batteries because they don’t hold a charge anymore… first imagine what other uses they could have.
Australia is rapidly shifting towards a renewables fuelled economy, and huge technological leaps in batteries are often cited as heroes of sustainability. But the knowledge acquired through high-powered X-ray tomography – a technology similar to CAT scans in hospitals – is also a key factor in creating a greener economy. When renewables like batteries reach their expiration date they could end up in landfill, but tomography technology allows us to see and understand what is inside the batteries, and repurpose the working components. So how might new innovations in tomography help us recycle and reuse complex technologies to build a circular, truly sustainable economy?
Dr Patrick Tung is a postdoctoral fellow at the Micro-CT Tyree Facility as part of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre at UNSW Sydney. Patrick completed his PhD in the School of Materials Science and Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, focusing on the disordered atomic structures in piezoelectric materials using X-ray diffraction, and also won the UNSW Three Minute Thesis competition in 2016. His research has taken him to Czech Republic where he developed advanced neutron grain reconstruction methods as part of the commissioning of the European Spallation Source. Currently, his main research areas are in using X-rays to understand the relationship between the nano and micro-structure of materials and their resulting properties.