WIN Thematic Seminar: Computer-aided design of improved porous electrodes for redox flow batteries

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) has four main thematic research areas; Smart and Function Materials, Connected Devices, Next Generation Energy Systems and Therapeutics and Theranostics. To showcase the work going on within these areas, WIN will be holding Thematic Seminars featuring our members and their research group members.

This month's WIN Thematic Seminar will highlight the Next Generation Energy Systems theme with research presented by Niloo Misaghian and Professor Jeff Gostick from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Refreshments will be provided! Registration required.

Computer-aided design of improved porous electrodes for redox flow batteries 


Redox flow batteries are a promising option for long-term, large-scale energy storage. These batteries operate by flowing an electrolyte solution through a porous electrode, where the ionic species undergo redox reactions which store or release energy as needed. The physical properties of the flow-through electrode, like porosity, pore sizes, solid-liquid surface area, and so forth, control many of the key performance metrics of these systems. It is possible to make customized electrodes with desired physical properties, but it is difficult to know which properties to target. In the PMEAL lab we have been developing ‘pore-scale’ modeling tools which allow us to simulate flow battery performance directly from a volumetric image of an electrode. In our recent work, which will be presented here, we explored a wide assortment of multi-layered structures each having unique properties, and identified a system that provides both improved performance, higher efficiency, and lower operating cost. This required simulating dozens of different materials and combinations, thus saving a vast amount of experimental time and effort. 


Prof. Jeff Gostick

Professor Jeff Gostick is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he runs the Porous Materials Engineering & Analysis Lab. Before joining UWaterloo he was an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal from 2010 to 2016. His PhD work focused on multiphase transport phenomena in hydrogen fuel cells. Upon completion of his PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2008, he did post-doctoral work with the US Department of Energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he used the ALS synchrotron to perform ‘cat scans’ on electrodes, which led to his current interest in volumetric image analysis. He is the lead developer of the open-source pore network modeling projects OpenPNM ( and PoreSpy (, both of which focus on understanding transport pheneomena at the pore-scale. Prof Gostick was recently named an Emerging Leader by the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering.

Niloo Misaghian Headshot

Niloo Misaghian is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where she has completed her PhD in Porous Materials Engineering & Analysis Lab. Her PhD work focused on pore network modeling of electrochemical devices and utilizing AI. She has contributed to various projects in open-source software packages PoreSpy and OpenPNM, which lead to her current interest and research in volumetric image analysis and software development projects.