Professor Anthony Vassallo

B.App.Sc (Hons) 1977 UTS; Ph.D 1986, Macquarie University
Delta Electricity Chair in Sustainable Energy Development
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

J01 - Chemical Engineering Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6740
Fax +61 2 9351 2854

Website Centre for Sustainable Energy Development

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Future Grid Cluster

Biographical details

Professor Tony Vassallo holds the Delta Electricity Chair in Sustainable Energy Development at the University of Sydney, in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He took up this position in October 2008. Prior to this, he held the position of Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, followed by a period of consultancy to industry and government in the field of sustainable energy technology. Tony has a PhD in Chemistry from Macquarie University.

Tony's interest in energy storage started in 1993 when he realised that high surface area carbons were ideal for electrochemical energy storage. He then conceived, and led the CSIRO Carbon Supercapacitor Project from 1994 till 2001. This work led to the formation of cap-XX Pty Ltd, an Australian start-up company that has received over $40 million of investment funding from Intel Capital and other organisations. Cap-XX recently listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM market, valuing the company at over $100 million. Tony's energy storage research has been recognised with the CSIRO Chairman's Medal, for the Low Emissions Vehicle Team (joint) in 2000. He also shared the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement in 2004, as joint team leader of the High Power Supercapacitor Team.

Tony has over 80 fully refereed papers in international journals and 8 patents, 6 of which are US or other international patents. Professor Vassallo has also been engaged as a project reviewer for distributed energy technologies by the Australian Greenhouse Office and the US Department of Energy.

He is the immediate past President of the Australian Institute of Energy, and leader of the Clean Energy Research Cluster in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Research interests

Unlike other resources such as gas, water and food, electricity cannot easily be stored. This currently means there must always be generators running to meet demand, which can be costly and inefficient. Professor Tony Vassallo's research aims to improve our ability to store electricity, allowing us to better meet variable demand and make full use of renewable but intermittent sources such as wind and solar energy.

"Electricity is the bedrock of our standard of living, and it is becoming more costly and difficult to supply as we move away from fossil fuels. I believe that energy storage is the 'missing link' to a more resilient electricity supply, and so to our future standard of living.

"Batteries are capable of storing electricity, but current battery technology is costly and generally has a short life span.

"My work involves developing low-cost, long-life battery technologies that can be installed on the electricity grid to act as a kind of 'shock absorber' for electricity demand. This will also enable us to better integrate renewable electricity sources into our grid - and that means lower costs and better reliability in the longer term. It will also enable us to power portable devices and electric vehicles for longer times before requiring recharging.

"I've been working in energy storage research for about 20 years, and joined the University of Sydney in 2008. This is a wonderful place to undertake research in this field - I have access to many of the top chemical engineers, chemists and material scientists, some of the world's best students and the best analytical equipment available."

Teaching and supervision

CHNG2805 - Industrial Systems and Sustainability

CHNG5705 - Foundations of Industrial Systems and Sustainability

ENGG5202 - Sustainable Design, Engineering & Management

SUST5003 - Energy and Resources

Associations

  • Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Fellow and past President (2011), Australian Institute of Energy

Awards and honours

  • CSIRO Chairman's Medal, for the Low Emissions Vehicle Team (joint) in 2000
  • CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement in 2004, as joint team leader of the High Power Supercapacitor Team

In the media

Themes

Clean energy

Selected grants

2013

  • Future Grid - Power and Energy Systems Modelling & Security; Vassallo A, Hill D, Braunl T, Dargaville R, Dong Z, Foster J, Godden l, MacGill I, Lund H; Energy Transformed Flagship/Research Support.

2012

  • Australian Centre for Energy Storage Research (ACESeR); Maschmeyer T, Masters A, Vassallo A, Minett A, Lyster R, Crossley P, Hill D, Verbic G, Hyde R, Chester L, Frost G; DVC Research/Research Network Scheme (SyReNS).

2011

  • New High Performance Zinc Bromine Batteries with Novel Electrode/Electrolyte Systems; Maschmeyer T, Vassallo A, Masters A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
  • Sustainable Energies - Gulf and Australia partnerships; Vassallo A; DVC International/IPDF Grant.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Milani, D., Qadir, A., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Abbas, A. (2014). Experimentally validated model for atmospheric water generation using a solar assisted desiccant dehumidification system. Energy and Buildings, 77(July 2014), 236-246. [More Information]
  • Qadir, A., Mokhtar, M., Khalilpour, R., Milani, D., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Abbas, A. (2013). Potential for solar-assisted post-combustion carbon capture in Australia. Applied Energy, 111, 175-185. [More Information]
  • Milani, D., Abbas, A., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Al Bakri, D. (2011). Evaluation of using thermoelectric coolers in a dehumidification system to generate freshwater from ambient air. Chemical Engineering Science, 66(12), 2491-2501. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Vassallo, A. (2008). The Value of Grid-Connected Energy Storage. Emergency Power Supplies Conference, Brisbane: publisher.
  • Vassallo, A. (2007). The Status of Energy Storage Technologies and Demonstration Projects in Australia. Electrical Energy Storage Applications and Technologies, San Francisco: publisher.

2014

  • Milani, D., Qadir, A., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Abbas, A. (2014). Experimentally validated model for atmospheric water generation using a solar assisted desiccant dehumidification system. Energy and Buildings, 77(July 2014), 236-246. [More Information]

2013

  • Qadir, A., Mokhtar, M., Khalilpour, R., Milani, D., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Abbas, A. (2013). Potential for solar-assisted post-combustion carbon capture in Australia. Applied Energy, 111, 175-185. [More Information]

2011

  • Milani, D., Abbas, A., Vassallo, A., Chiesa, M., Al Bakri, D. (2011). Evaluation of using thermoelectric coolers in a dehumidification system to generate freshwater from ambient air. Chemical Engineering Science, 66(12), 2491-2501. [More Information]

2008

  • Vassallo, A. (2008). The Value of Grid-Connected Energy Storage. Emergency Power Supplies Conference, Brisbane: publisher.

2007

  • Vassallo, A. (2007). The Status of Energy Storage Technologies and Demonstration Projects in Australia. Electrical Energy Storage Applications and Technologies, San Francisco: publisher.

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