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Principal Investigator


Dr. Wenzhen Li

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellow

Faculty Affiliate, Bioeconomy Institute (BEI)

Iowa State University

Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)

2140 Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL)

Ames, IA 50011

Tel: 515-294-4582, Email:



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

       Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2004

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

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

         Thesis advisor: Prof. Can Li

Postdoc Researcher

Yuhuan Fei, Postdoc Reseacher

PhD. Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan

        Technological University, 2024

M.S. Environmental Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 2018

B.S.  Environmental Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 2018


Research: Green Fertilizers, CO2 capture and Conversion


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Graduate Students

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Tianlei Li, PhD candidate, summer 2021-Present

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Rochester University, 2021

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2013


Research: Cl2 evolution, Paired electrolysis, Innovative electrolyzer design


Xiaopeng Liu, Ph.D. candidate, fall 2021-present

B.S. Materials Chemistry, Nankai University, China, 2020


Research: 2D electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction and CO2 reduction (co-advised by Dr. Yue Wu)


Sujin Kang Ph.D. candidate, fall 2022-present

B.S.  Chemical Engineering, University of Seoul, South Korea, 2020

M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Seoul, South Korea, 2022


Research: CO2 capture and electroreduction


Mohammod Albloushi, PhD student, spring 2023-

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

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2022


Research: Paired electrolyzer design, Electro-conversion of biorenewable compounds


Rod Alexei De Guzman,  PhD student, fall 2023 -

B.S. Chemical Engineering,

B.S. Energy Engineering, Korea Science Academy of KAIST (KSA          of KAIST), 2022

Research: Electrochemical reactor design, Urea electrosynthesis


Undergraduate Students

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Michael Galvin, Junior

Fall 2022, ChE490; Spring, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Grisword Intern


Paired electrolysis, Electrocatalytic oxidation


Huu Huy Nguyen, Freshman

Fall 2023, ChE290 (ISU Honors Program), Spring 2024, Grisword Intern

Electrocatalyis, Electrochemical cells


Gunnar Dunahoo, Sophomore

Spring 2024, ChE490 

Electrocatalytic oxidation 


Group Photos


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Basil Rawah, Spring 2023. PhD dissertation: On-site hydrogen peroxide electrosynthesis via partial oxygen reduction reaction enabled by advanced carbon-based electrocatalysts and electrochemical flow reactors. 

Current position:  Assistant Professor, Jeddah University, Saudi Arabia

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Yifu Chen, Fall 2022. PhD dissertation: Electrifying the Chemical Industry: Towards Sustainable Ammonia Production from Dinitrogen and Nitrogen-Containing Wastes

Google Scholar

Current position: Postdoc at Berliguette group, University of British Columbia

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Hengzhou Liu, Summer 2022, Ph.D dissertation: Electrochemical Transformation of Biomass-derived Furanic Compounds for Valuable Chemical Production and Innovative Process Development

Google Scholar

Current position: Postdoc at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL


Ting-Han Lee,  Summer 2022 PhD Dissertation: The developments and characterizations of polyester with built-in properties from bio-based comonomers     


Google Scholar


Current position:  Postdoc at IBM, Costa Mesa, CA


Dr. David Chadderdon  Spring 2018. PhD dissertation: Electrocatalysis for Selective Oxidation of Biomass-Derived Compounds

Google Scholar


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



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


Google Scholar


Current position: Research Engineer, Energizer, Cleveland, OH

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

Google Scholar

Current position: Research Scientist,  Evoqua Water Technologies, Boston, MA


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

Google Scholar

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

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

Google Scholar 

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

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

Google Scholar

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

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

Google Scholar

Current position: Research scientist, Universal Matter Ltd, Houston, TX



Mohammod Albloushi, M.S. Fall 2022

Research: Flow cell designs for electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on-site


Current position: PhD student, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

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Mr. Joseph Watkins, M.S. Fall 2019

Research: Electrochemical Oxidation of N-Containing Compounds for Fuel Cells

Current position: Research Engineer, Plug Power


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

Research: Redox Flow Battery for Energy Storage

Current position: Honeywell, Houston, TX

Google Scholar


Mr. Sean Gassen, M.S. Fall 2018


Research: Direct Carbohydrazide Fuel Cell


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

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Mr. Zhichao Wang  M.S. Fall 2012

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


PhD: Prof. Adrienne Minerick group, Michigan Tech, 2017

Current position: Nano Process Specialist, Nanofabrication Facility at University of Delaware


Mr. Olumide Wijobi  M.S. Fall 2010 


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


PhD: Prof. David Shonnard group, Michigan Tech

Current position: Postdoc Researcher,  Argonne National Lab, DOE, Lemont, IL

Mr. Phani Krishna  M.S. Fall 2013 


Research:  Electrocatalytic Oxidation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid 

Postdoc Researchers

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Dr. Yifu Chen, Dec 2022 - Oct 2023

Google Scholar

Current position: Postdoc at Berliguette group, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Jungkuk Lee, Ph.D. 2021 May - 2022 Aug, Electrochemical reduction of CO2

Google Scholar 


Current position: Postdoc research at DOE Argonne National Lab

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

Google Scholar

Current position: Assistant Professor, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.

Link: REACT Lab at UNIST (

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 (32):  Huy Nguyen, Yoke Qi Ho, Yu Xi, Derrick Thompson, 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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