Qusay Ibrahim, Head of Analytics & Quality: we're the only company developing and producing the active material for high-power cells in-house
Qusay Ibrahim joined Skeleton in September 2020 as a material chemist. Now he's the Head of Analytics & Quality, keeping a close eye on the production of our award-winning raw material Curved Graphene.
What does your work in the Curved Graphene production team as Head of Analytics and Quality entail?
I’m contributing to the development of our patented raw material Curved Graphene, keeping the process within a defined quality standard, introducing new methods for characterization of curved graphene at our facility, and preparing all related standard operating procedures.
Among the various responsibilities, it is very exciting to be a part of the Curved Graphene scale-up team. I am actively involved in an intermediate step of the total curved graphene production – milling. We want to transition to jet mills and successful equipment trials are the prerequisite for meeting our quality and quantity expectations.
Moreover, I am actively working on creating material specification sheets for both the base material (silicon carbide) and final product (Curved Graphene) to keep improving on the quality.
Why did you choose to join Skeleton?
During my PhD studies, I really wanted to work in the field of energy storage and switch from academia to industry.
Previously, I had worked for three years in the production of carbon from biomass using hydrothermal processes and investigating potential applications for the resulted carbon. Joining Skeleton has given me the opportunity to go deep in one of these applications – energy storage – and has enriched my knowledge and experience in this field.
What do you like most about working here?
The people. Since day one, I found Skeleton exceptional for the bright minds around me, both in terms of professional capabilities as well as on a more personal level. I was immediately welcomed and fully integrated by colleagues who I now consider my second family.
Skeleton is a very international company, so there is the added contribution of a variety of cultures. That makes it possible to find innovative and unconventional approaches to solve daily issues. In our Bitterfeld-Wolfen facility we have currently 11 people from 7 nationalities.
What brought you to the world of high-power energy storage?
I did both my bachelor’s as well as my master’s degree in Chemistry in my hometown of Amman at the University of Jordan. Right after my master’s studies, I got a Marie Sklodowska Curie fellowship through the GreenCarbon Project which is fully funded by the EU. The focus of the project is to produce chemicals and carbon in the biorefinery concept as well as find potential application of the produced carbon. I enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Hohenheim and did my project at Fraunhofer Institute.
By that time, I was already very interested in the topic of using fractionation process wastes like lignin, cellulose, or hydrolysis lignin for energy storage. I had realized that there was something changing in terms of materials: the synthesis and processing of graphene was finally reaching the right maturity to perfectly match with the supercapacitor world.
I joined Skeleton during my PhD studies at University of Hohenheim. Working here has allowed me to go deep into the unique characteristics of Curved Graphene, gain knowledge about what make the innovative material suitable for supercapacitors and reflect this knowledge on my PhD project.
What is Skeleton doing right regarding sustainability?
I think it’s right that we’re tackling the development of sustainable energy storage devices from different perspectives. On the technical side, Skeleton seems to be the only company in the high-power energy storage industry that’s developing and producing the active material for the electrodes in-house. This allows us to have full control over the design of our products and gain a significant advantage in terms of supply chain and material sourcing.
Curved Graphene and active carbons with higher energy density will open doors to completely new applications where supercapacitors would traditionally be ruled out.
With SuperBattery, we’re the first ones to successfully target the "grey area" between supercapacitors and batteries, once again allowing the transition from old technologies based on internal combustion engines to electric or hybrid approaches.