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. Here is the link to the full article in Nature Chemistry. Two news stories were released regarding this work (UDaily story & Caltech Story).
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. Here is the link to the full article in JACS.
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 (Full article can be found at here). We also wrote a blog article regarding this study.
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. A full UDaily article can be found here.
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. This Research News article highlights recent advances in electrochemical ammonia synthesis and ammonia fuel cells. Full article can be found in Advanced Materials.
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. Full story of this work can be found in Advanced Materials.
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. A news story regarding this project can be found here.
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. The full discussion was published in ACS Catalysis.
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. Full details of this technology can be found in our recent publication in Energy & Environmental Science.