Principal Investigator

Dr. Wenzhen Li

Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Department

Associate Scientist, DOE Ames Lab

2140 Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL)

Iowa State University

Tel: 515-294-4582, Email:



Ph.D   Physical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics,   

      Chinese Academy of Science, 2004

       Dissertation advisors: Prof. Qin Xin & Prof. Gongqun Sun

 B.S  Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology,1998

         Thesis adsivor: Prof. Can Li

Postdoctoral Researchers

Jungkuk Lee, Ph.D. 

PhD. Chemical Engineering, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, 2020


Research: Electrochemical reduction of CO2, CO2 storage, Paired electrolysis

Graduate Students

Yifu Chen, Ph.D. candidate, 2017-present

B.S. Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2017


Research: Electrochemical ammonia synthesis, Nitrate reduction, Seawater splitting


Basil Rawah, Ph.D. candidate, 2017-present

M.S. Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2017
B.S. Chemical Engineering, King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, 2010


Research: Electrochemical synthesis of H2O2, Environmental electrocatalysis


Ting-Han Lee, Ph.D. candidate, 2017-present

B.S. Chemical Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, 2016

Research: Electrochemical synthesis of chemicals; Paired electrolyzers (co-advised by Dr. Eric Cochran)



Hengzhou Liu, Ph.D. student, 2018-present

M.S. Nano-Engineering, UCSD, 2018
B.S. Chemistry, Chongqing University, 2016


Research: Paired electrolysis of furanics, Flow cell design, Nitrate reduction


Mohammod Albloushi, M.S. student, 2020-present

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2020


Research: Electrosynthesis of H2O2 in flow cells


Undergraduate Students

Dexter Clark  since Spring 2017, (co-advised with Prof. Robert Brown) Electrochemical thermal cell

James Trettin   Spring, Fall 2019, Griswold research internship  Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia

James Lanasa   Spring 2020, Undergraduate independent research (ChE490)  Electrochemical Reduction of CO2

Grayson Tran  Fall 2020, Griswold research internship  Electrochemical Reduction of CO2

Derrick Thompson  Spring 2021, Honors 290 Research student  Cl-mediated ethylene epoxidation in flow cell

Group Photos


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Dr. David Chadderdon  2018 spring. PhD dissertation: Electrocatalysis for selective Oxidation of Biomass-derived Compounds

Current position: Research Scientist in NeoGraf Solutions, Cleveland, OH


Dr. Xiaotong Han Chadderdon 2018 spring, PhD: dissertation: Electrochemical Conversion of Biomass-derived Furanics for Production of Renewable Chemicals and Fuels

Current position: Research Engineer in Energizer, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Yang Qiu  2018 spring, PhD dissertation: Rational Design of Advanced Electrocatalysis for Oxygen and Hydrogen Reactions in Fuel Cells and Water Electrolyzers

Current position: Postdoc, Pacific Northwestern National Lab, DOE,

Richland, WA

Dr.  Neeva Benipal 2017 spring PhD dissertation: Electrocatalytic Conversion of Birenewable Feedstocks for Electricity and Chemicals Cogeneration in Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Current position: Research Engineer, California EPA, Sacramento, CA

Dr. Ji Qi 2016 spring PhD dissertation: Electrocatalysts Design for Selective Oxidation of Organic Molecules in High-Performance Fuel Cell

Current position: Assistant Professor at Dalian University of Technology, China

Dr. Le Xin 2014 spring PhD dissertation: Electrocatalytic Processing of Renewable Biomass-Derived Compounds for Production of Chemicals, Fuels and Electricity

Current position: Research Scientist, Sigma-Millipore, Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Zhiyong Zhang 2012 fall PhD dissertation: Advanced Nanostructured Electro-Catalysts for Electricity Generation and Biorenewable Alcohol Conversion

Current position: Universal Matter Ltd, Houston, TX


Mr. Joseph Watkins, M.S. 2019 fall

Research: Electrochemical oxidation of N-containing compounds for fuel cells

Mr. Mohsen Torabi-Dizaji, M.S, 2019 spring

Research: Redox Flow Battery for Energy Storage

Current position: GRA in Civil Engineering, ISU

Mr. Sean Gassen, M.S. 2018 fall


Research: Direct Carbohydrazide Fuel Cell


Current position: Regulatory Consultant, EcoEngineers, Des Moines, IA 

Mr. Zhichao Wang  M.S. 2012 fall


Thesis: Synthesis, Characterization and Electrochemical Applications of Nanostructured Non-Precious Metal Catalysts


Current position: US Army

Mr. Olumide Wijobi  M.S. 2010 fall 


Research:  Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) supported Pt and Pd Alloy Nanoparticles for Formic Acid Oxidation Reaction (FAOR)


Current position: Staff researcher in SFI at Michigan Tech

Mr. Phani Krishna  M.S. 2013 fall 


Research:  Electrocatalytic oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid 

Postdoc Researchers

Dr. Kwiyong Kim,  2018 Aug - 2019 Mar, Electrosynthesis of ammonia 

Current position: Postdoc researcher at Chemical and Biological Engineering,  UIUC.


Dr. Yang Qiu  2018 Jun - 2019 Feb. Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia, Electrochemical Reduction of Nitrate, Alkaline Electrolyte Hydrogen Oxidation

Current position: Postdoc Researcher at DOE PNNL

Dr. Le Xin  2017 May - 2018 April,  Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia 

Current position: Staff Scientist at Sigma-Millipore

Dr. Peiqiang Li  2016 Sept- 2017 Mar., Electrochemical CO2 reduction

Current position: Associate Professor at Shangdong Agricultural University, China


Since 2008, totally more than 40 undergraduate students were trained in Dr. Li Lab at Iowa State and Michigan Tech through independent undergraduate course, fellowship/internship or volunteer research.

Iowa State (30): James Lanasa, Grayson Tran, James Trettin, Dexter Clark, Mohammed Albloushi, Chang Won Lee, Yixi Zhu, Tham Tran, Zhiqun Ban, Yunshun Li, Jenna Averhof, Zachary McGraw, Jenna Willenborg, Mohemmod Al-Abri, Ivy Wu (with Prof. Panthani), Zachary McGraw, Baitong Chen, Jackson Archen, Ryan F. McSweeney, Qi Liu,  Joshua Otto, Fan Jia, Andrew Forgety,  Jacob Gentile, Darcie Farrell, Hyunjin Moon, Aimee Pierce, Yuan Tan, Geng Sun.


Michigan Tech: Cory Schafer, Kayla Warsco, Kellin Jayne, David Chadderdon, Brandon Spigarelli, Mengya Li, Kamonwad Yangyuenthanasan, AEE students.

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