Direct liquid fuel cells are considered an ideal electrochemical energy device to supplement Li-batteries in some special applications, due to the higher energy density of liquid fuel, quiet operation, and independent of charging plugs. We are interested in develop direct carbohydrazide fuel cells with high power density and high energy and fuel efficiency. Now we are investigating electrochemical reaction mechanisms of carbohydrazide, hydrazine and ammonia over different types of catalysts in various conditions, and exploring efficient anode catalyst materials, with the ultimate goal of developing novel carbohydrazide fuel cell technologies.
Sponsor: Iowa Reagents Innovation Fund (RIF)
Wenzhen Li Research Group
Electrochemistry / Catalysis / Energy
/ Environment / Agriculture / Sustainability
CHE410/510 Electrochemical Engineering
Fall 2022, 2:10-3:25 pm T, R, Sweeney 1126
From Dr. Li:
"Recent years have witnessed fast deployment of electrochemical technologies, due to increasing concerns about humanity’s environment degradation, and issues such as the overproduction of green-house gas CO2 and climate change, as well as national security and global economic competition. During my advising of chemical engineering freshmen and sophomores, many of them showed strong interest in electrochemical devices: batteries and fuel cells. They felt it would be super cool if their careers can be related with development of battery systems for Tesla cars. I have been fully convinced that now is a golden time to consolidate the role of electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering in engineering, chemistry and materials science curricula. In 2018 spring, our CBE department launched the new elective course of “Electrochemical Engineering” for senior undergraduate and junior graduate students, and I was very excited to teach it. I picked up the textbook “Electrochemical Engineering” authored by Drs. Fuller and Harb for my teaching. It is a great book for electrochemical engineering theory and applications. I roughly split 1/3 time of one semester on fundamentals (thermodynamics, kinetics and transport); electroanalytical methods/lab; and applications (fuel cell, battery, super-capacitor, corrosion, electrodeposition), and students just loved the course. I have been frequently asked by new students when this course would be offered again. Now the answer is ChE410/510 course will be offered in every fall semester.
I really wish this course can strengthen the concepts of thermodynamics, transport and kinetics that chemical engineering undergraduates have learned, and help them find a suitable position in the more electrified society. I was very happy to know two students from 2019 fall class already got job offers from big companies: Tommy will work in a chlor-alkali plant, and Chang will do battery research & development.
I also welcome graduate students from other disciplines, such as chemistry, mechanical engineering, materials science & engieering, environmental engineering, etc, to take this elective course to help you do research in energy storage, batteries, and electrolyzers.
" I thought the class was well taught and very interesting. Some more lab time may be potentially helpful with learning how fuel cells, batteries and electrolyzers work."
"Very good course. Teach us the many different batteries. And also the application of each. And the future use. Very interesting!"
"Interesting class, needs some tweaking since its a new class. Dr. Li did an excellent job given the circumstances of being a new class."
"Dr Li was a good teacher and generally a nice man with willingness for his students to do well!"
"Great course, I think it is amazing that Iowa State is offering this course. I would recommend ChE 410X to everyone."
"Nice course to learn electrochemical engineering."
"I would have really liked to have a more in-depth unit on corrosion and how industry copes with or retards it. The rest of the course was very interesting and enjoyable..."
"Everything about the course was fair, and well structured, and I believe I learned a lot. Overall, I'm very glad to have taken an electrochem course to broaden my horizons as a chemical engineer, learn more about a field that interests me, and strengthen my skills in several core areas..."
"Dr. Li is great, he's very enthusiastic and is passionate about the subject material."
I enjoyed this course and everything learned was interesting."
"Thank you for teaching 410 during fall semester, because of this course, it helps me to get a job. in the battery field."
""Great course for a complicated topic."
"Thank you for an enjoyable semester of Electrochemical Engineering and for being an excellent professor during unusual times."
"Thanks for the wonderful course you delivered this semester!"
"I would like to express my gratitude to you for your instruction in this course, especially in this difficult period."
"I also wanted to let you know you did a great job teaching and making the class interesting."
"It is always nice to know the teacher is trying to accommodate to the student's needs so I thank you for that."
"Dr. Li is a very kind and effective teacher, working well to work with students and make accommodations during this time. "
"The very comprehensive course content framework and abundant materials to further learning are really helpful for getting a deep understanding of electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering."
"Very well done lecture slides that were available before and after class."
Flow battery test
Hydrogen fuel cell stack
Preparation of an oxide-derived Ag foil with 12 X higher surface area using a square-wave voltammetric (SWV) method (16X play rate)
Funding: NSF-CHE 2036944
More Infor: ACS Catalysis, 2021, 11, 8431-8442. DOI: acscatal.1c01525
Green H2 production from anode and cathode from furfural and water.
Funding: NSF-CBET 1947435
More Infor: Energy & Environmental Science, 2022, DOI: 10.1039/D2EE01427K