Cracking code of green energy with eggshells

How can eggshells power the future of green energy? That’s the question that Dr Manickam Minakshi Sundaram answered with his visionary research which has earned him the inaugural Higher Doctorate award from Flinders University.

Dr Minakshi’s innovative work has led to the development of high-performance sustainable electrode materials from crushed eggshells, marking a significant stride towards international advancements in sustainable energy storage and production.

Dr Minakshi’s discovery is a significant advance in our global quest for sustainable energy

With Australia’s annual egg production soaring to 6.2 billion and growing, this discovery not only promises to reduce landfill by transforming discarded biowaste into an economic asset, but also addresses the critical challenge of reshaping how we generate, store, and access energy efficiently.

As Dr Minakshi joins 1,744 graduates to receive their Flinders University testamurs, citations, and medals at four graduation ceremonies on December 14 and 15, the significance of his achievement resonates beyond academia.

Flinders Chancellor John Hood, himself a Flinders alumnus, extended his congratulations to the remarkable class of 2023.

“Flinders graduates are highly regarded around the world for their fearless pursuit of knowledge and for driving positive change through many fields – from medicine, science and engineering, to law, social sciences and the creative arts,” Mr Hood said.

“Today, we not only celebrate their accomplishments, but also welcome our newest graduates to our 130,000-strong network of visionaries, changemakers, and achievers who are not just changing lives, but changing the world.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the Flinders experience goes beyond the classroom by instilling in its graduates a fearless spirit of innovation.

“A Flinders education is an invitation to dream big, to challenge the status quo, and to be the architects of a future yet to be imagined,” Professor Stirling said.

“A Flinders degree isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a passport to shape the world. Our graduates don’t just adapt to change, they lead it.”

Supervisor and Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr Zhongfan Jia emphasised the game-changing impact of Dr Minakshi’s thesis on the energy sector.

“Dr Minakshi’s work provides deeper insights into organic and inorganic hybrid electroactive materials for energy storage and renewable energy generation, crucial for the transition to a sustainable society,” Associate Professor Jia said.

“He is to be congratulated for shining a light on the significance of organic materials in creating a smarter, greener future.”

Beyond eggshells, Dr Minakshi’s research highlights the potential to extend this technology to other waste materials such as wheat straw, grape marc, and mango seeds, opening doors to a new era of environmentally stable batteries.

Mango seeds, grape marc and even hay in our bio waste stockpiles offer green potential for energy production and storage

Note: The Higher Doctorate is the highest qualification awarded by Flinders University, recognising a substantial body of original, internationally recognised, significant, and sustained contributions to a field of research or interdisciplinary scholarship, surpassing both a Masters by Research degree and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

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