Energy and Environmental Materials Research Centre

Energy and Environmental Materials Research Centre

Studying at Cambridge


Prof. Ali Reza Kamali

Dr James Elliott, MA (Cantab) CPhys MInstPhys

Prof. Ali Reza Kamali FRSC

Double Hundred Plan Distinguished Professor
Email: ali@smm.neu.edu.cn

Education and Career History

2016 Professor, School of Metallurgy, NEU, China
2016 Scholar, University of Cambridge, UK
2014 Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK
2011 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK
2009 Research Scientist and Consultant, University of Cambridge, UK
2009 Director of Research, Nanotech, India
Associate College Member of The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK
Reviewing Board Member of National Science Centre (NSC), Poland

Current Research

  Large scale production of inexpensive but high quality graphene is a critical step towards its widespread application. A novel method for synthesis of high quality graphene was developed based on high temperature diffusion of hydrogen from molten salts into the interlayer space of graphite, suggesting an effective way of producing graphene nanosheets in large quantities. This technology has been licensed from University of Cambridge to a British company. The application of the graphene product in energy storage devices and also structural composites is explored

  Sustainable Production of Metals and Intermetallics

- Silicon

  Silicon has a wide range of applications including as deoxidising or alloying element for steel, cast iron and aluminium alloys, raw material in the semiconductor industry (electronic devices, photovoltaic cells, and biosensors), photonics and as the promising anode candidates for rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Traditionally, elemental silicon is produced in industrial scale by carbothermal reduction of silica in submerged-arc electric furnaces at temperatures about 2000 °C. At this temperature, silicon dioxide is reduced to molten silicon, which also generates CO2 emissions. The carbothermic deoxidization of silicon oxide needs a substantial amount of energy (11kWh/kg of Si), and affects the environment through the emission of carbon dioxide. A novel combustion synthesis method has been developed for the large scale production of Si powder directly from beach sand, without the involvement of carbon. The product has been evaluated as anode material for Li ion battery and promising results have been achieved.

- Titanium Alloys

  At present gamma titanium aluminides are the most advanced of the successor materials to the conventional nickel-based and titanium alloys. However, γ-TiAl remains too expensive to be widely used. A combustion synthesis process was developed for the large scale, low cost preparation of monolithic TiAl from TiO2 and Al. In this method, which was patented as the KRH process, the complete reaction between TiO2 , Al, Ca and other additives in a special reaction vessel leads to the formation of gamma-TiAl as the metallic phase and CaAl4O7 as the non-metallic slag phase. Both the products are formed as fused and readily separable cakes. In practice, this method does not require complicated equipment and rigorous conditions and also uses low cost TiO2 to produce titanium aluminides.

-Nanostructured Metal/Carbon Hybrids

  Ali conducted TSB and EPSRC funded investigations to develop new metal-carbon hybrid materials with enhanced performance as anode materials for advanced lithium ion batteries. This research is currently investigating the large scale production of graphene hybrid nanostructures.


  A novel method of making inexpensive CNTs and nanoparticles from graphite has been developed, and its commercial potential was demonstrated. The electrolytically produced carbon material can be tailored to possess a unique microstructure in which inorganic materials are located within their graphitic walls. It was discovered that diamond nanocrystals can be produced by a special heat treatment of this nanostructured material under normal atmospheric pressure, perhaps providing a significant advantage over the available technologies. This technology was licensed from University of Cambridge to an international company and its further development is now explored.

Previous Research

  Ali has conducted research projects on topics such as hydrometallurgical treatment of mechanically activated concentrates, combustion synthesis of titanium-based alloys, mechanochemical synthesis of titanium, nickel and tungsten -based intermetallics, and powder/melt processing of intermetallic alloys. He worked with Prof. Derek Fray at University of Cambridge for several years. During 2009-2013, with funded assistance from the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers and the UK Technology Strategy Board, Ali scaled up and then successfully transferred a unique method for making carbon nanotubes and carbon nanoparticles in molten salts from University of Cambridge to industry.

Selected Awards

· Khwarizmi International Award, Research Organisation for Science and Technology (IROST), 2005.

· National Selected Expert (Iran), Shahid Rajaei, 2006

· International Young Scientists Award, The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 2017.

Selected Patents

· Simultaneous production of gamma titanium aluminde and grossite (KRH process to Produce γ-TiAl and CaAl4O7), AU Patent 2005100278.

· Method for producing synthetic diamonds, JP Patent 6125659.

· Method of producing graphene, UK Patent 2523154.

Selected Papers

· A.R.Kamali, Eco-friendly production of high quality low cost graphene and its application in lithium ion batteries, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 1952-1964.

· R. Kamali, H.K. Kim, K.B. Kim, R. V. Kumar, D. J. Fray, Large scale green production of ultra-high capacity anode consisting of graphene encapsulated silicon nanoparticles, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 19126-19135.

· H.K. Kim, A. R. Kamali, K. C. Roh, K.B. Kim, D. J. Fray, Dual coexisting interconnected graphene nanostructures for high performance supercapacitor applications, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016,9, 2249-2256.

· A.R.Kamali, Nanocatalytic conversion of CO2 into nanodiamonds, Carbon, 2017, 123, 205-215.

· A.R. Kamali, D.J. Fray, Large-scale preparation of graphene by high temperature diffusion of hydrogen into graphite, Nanoscale, 2015,7, 11310-11320.

· A.R.Kamali, D.J.Fray, Preparation of nanodiamonds from carbon nanoparticles at atmospheric pressure, Chemical Communications, 2015, 51, 5594-5597.

· A.R.Kamali, D.J.Fray, Molten salt corrosion of graphite as a possible way to make carbon nanostructures, Carbon, 56, 2013, 121-131.

Google Scholar Profile: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=9USa0K8AAAAJ&hl=en

Dr James Elliott, MA (Cantab) CPhys MInstPhys

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