Tandem and hybrid processes for CO2 utilization

January 20, 2021

In a recent Joule Future Energy article, we discussed tandem and hybrid processes for CO2 utilization, which are promising future directions that have great potentials in creating alternative routes in sustainable chemical manufacturing and renewable energy storage sectors.

Impacts of NOx on CO2 electrolysis

November 17, 2020

Industrial carbon dioxide point sources often contain numerous contaminants, such as nitrogen oxides, and therefore, it is important to understand the potential impact of contaminants on carbon dioxide electrolysis processes. In a recent study published in Nature Communications, we investigated the carbon dioxide electroreduction properties of Cu, Ag, and Sn catalysts in the presence of NOx

Advancing carbon dioxide utilization technologies

September 29, 2020

Dr. Jiao and his team won a major research grant from the U.S. DOE. The grant will focus on developing CO2 electrolysis technology for formic acid production. A news story at UDaily is just released.

Dr. Jiao was selected as a Scialog Fellow

July 7, 2020

Dr. Jiao was selected as a Scialog Fellow to participate in the 2020 Scialog: Negative Emissions Science (NES) initiative, jointly sponsored by RCSA and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The event will be held virtually in November, 2020.

New tandem electrolysis project funded by DOE

June 22, 2020

The tandem CO2 electrolysis project was selected for funding by the U.S. DOE. We are looking forward to launching this exciting project shortly.

Probing electrocatalyst surface

May 27, 2020

In a recent JACS paper, in situ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is employed to investigate the speciation of four commonly used Cu surfaces, i.e., Cu foil, Cu micro/nanoparticles, electrochemically deposited Cu film, and oxide-derived Cu, at potentials relevant to the CO reduction reaction in an alkaline electrolyte. This is a collaborative work with Profs. Bingjun Xu and Levi Thompson, which is selected as a journal cover in JACS and highlighted in Nature Catalysis. 

Overcoming immiscibility in bimetallic nanoalloys

April 25, 2020

In collaboration with Prof. Liangbing Hu at the University of Maryland, College Park, we developed a non-equilibrated synthetic approach to access bimetallic nanoalloys with a highly uniform structure, overcoming the thermodynamic immiscibility. The ability of synthesizing a wide range of nanoalloys with well-defined structures enables us to systematically study the structure-property relationship for important catalytic reactions. The study is now published in Science Advances.

Prof. Jiao serves on the Advisory Board of Journal of Materials Chemistry A

January 7, 2020

Prof. Jiao was invited to serve on the Advisory Board of Journal of Materials Chemistry A, a prestigious journal focusing on materials science.

Carbon monoxide electroreduction as an emerging platform for carbon utilization

December 9, 2019

In a perspective paper published in Nature Catalysis, we discussed recent progress towards high-rate CO conversion alongside mechanistic insights and device designs that can improve performance even further. A techno-economic analysis of the two-step conversion process and cradle-to-gate lifecycle assessment shows the economic feasibility and improved environmental impact of a high-volume commercial process generating acetic acid and ethylene compared to the current state of the art.

Prof. Jiao is appointed as the Robert Grasselli Development Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

September 25, 2019

It is a great honor to be named as the Robert Grasselli Development Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. Robert Karl Grasselli was a highly accomplished and innovative industrial chemist, renowned for his seminal contributions to the design, development, and commercial exploitation of novel solid catalysis.

Building N-atoms into products in CO electrolysis

August 23, 2019

The electroreduction of CO2-derived carbon monoxide is a promising technology for the sustainable production of value-added chemicals. Now, carbon-nitrogen bonds have been formed electrochemically for the first time through CO electroreduction in the presence of amines, where acetamides are produced through nucleophilic addition to a ketene intermediate. 

SO2 contaminant could strongly affect CO2 reduction

June 17, 2019

We report the effects of sulfur dioxide (SO2) on Ag-, Sn-, and Cu-catalyzed CO2 electrolysis in a flow-cell electrolyzer in near-neutral electrolyte, representing a broad range of CO2 reduction catalysts. We show that the presence of SO2 impurity reduces the efficiency of converting CO2 due to the preferential reduction of SO2. On the contrary, a shift in selectivity toward formate accompanied by a suppression of multicarbon (C2+) products was observed on Cu catalyst, demonstrating that Cu is highly sensitive to SO2 impurity. 

2D Cu nanosheets show superior properties in converting carbon monoxide to acetate

April 8, 2019

We recently showed a two-dimensional Cu nanosheet can electrochemically convert carbon monoxide into acetate with a selectivity as high as 48%. This is a collaborative work together with Prof. Yijin Kang and Prof. Yuanyue Liu. The discovery was published in Nature Catalysis and highlighted as a cover story.

Matt Jouny won the 2019 Kokes Award

April 6, 2019

Congratulations, Matt. Look forward to your presentation at NAM26 in Chicago!

Greener hydrogen from water

January 10, 2019

A recent UDaily article discusses our discovery of Cu-Ti metallic catalyst for green hydrogen production from water. A patent related to this catalyst is recently granted. 

Electrochemical ammonia synthesis and ammonia fuel cells

January 8, 2019

Ammonia is a promising platform molecule for the future renewable energy infrastructure owing to its high energy density (when liquefied) and carbon-free nature. A Research News article was published in Advanced Materials to highlight recent advances in electrochemical ammonia synthesis and ammonia fuel cells. 

Two new group members: Sean Overa and Haeun Shin

November 12, 2018

We are happy to announce that Sean Overa and Haeun Shin will join us in January 2019. Sean and Haeun, welcome to the Jiao group!

Carbon dioxide electrolysis using a nanoporous Cu catalyst

October 14, 2018

A nanoporous copper catalyst for CO2 reduction is synthesized and integrated into a microfluidic CO2 flow cell electrolyzer with well-engineered electrode–electrolyte interface. The CO2 electrolyzer exhibits a current density over 650 mA/cm^2 with a C2+ product selectivity of ~62% at a mild overpotential, which represents one of the highest performances that have been achieved to date. 

Carbon monoxide electrolysis at high current densities

August 21, 2018

Carbon monoxide electrolysis has previously been reported to yield enhanced multi-carbon (C2+) Faradaic efficiencies of up to ~55%, but only at low reaction rates. This is due to the low solubility of CO in aqueous electrolytes and operation in batch-type reactors. Here, we present a high-performance CO flow electrolyser with a well controlled electrode–electrolyte interface that can reach total current densities of up to 1 A/cm^2, together with improved C2+ selectivities.

New NSF-NSFC joint project funded for innovations on the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water systems

August 7, 2018

The Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus is the compilation of the nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, and water cycles interacting in equilibrium. Due to optimization of individual components of FEW systems in isolation, these cycles are quickly being pushed beyond the limit of their natural equilibria. One remedy to this challenge is to bring the four major cycles back into equilibrium by developing novel, renewable energy powered and efficient technologies. Through close collaboration with our research partners at Tianjin University, we (the Jiao and Xu Labs) at the University of Delaware will design a solar-driven catalysis system capable of producing liquid carbon fuels from carbon dioxide and water. 

Mechanistic insights into CO2 reduction on Au and Ag

July 25, 2018

Understanding reaction pathways and mechanisms for electrocatalytic transformation of small molecules, e.g., H2O, CO2, and N2, to value-added chemicals is critical to enabling the rational design of high-performing catalytic systems. Tafel analysis is widely used to gain mechanistic insights, and in some cases, has been used to determine the reaction mechanism. In a recent Perspective, we discussed the mechanistic insights that can be gained from Tafel analysis and its limitations using the simplest 2-electron CO2 reduction reaction to CO on Au and Ag surfaces as an example. By comparing and analyzing existing as well as additional kinetic data, we show that the Tafel slopes obtained on Au and Ag surfaces in the kinetically controlled region (low overpotential) are consistently ~59 mV/dec, regardless of whether catalysts are polycrystalline or nanostructured in nature. 

Generating oxygen from carbon dioxide

July 9, 2018

Reclaiming oxygen (O2) efficiently from carbon dioxide (CO2), a major product of human metabolism, is a key technology to minimize the oxygen supply for challenging missions such as manned deep space exploration. Together with our partner at NASA Glenn Research Center, we developed an electro-thermochemical hybrid looping (ETHL) strategy to split CO2 into elemental carbon (C) and O2 under mild conditions with a 100% theoretical oxygen recovery efficiency, which cannot be accomplished using any existing electrochemical or thermochemical processes. 


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