Principal Investigator


Dr. Wenzhen Li

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Herbert L. Stiles Faculty Fellow

Iowa State University
Associate Scientist, DOE Ames Lab

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 Science, 2004

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

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

         Thesis advisor: Prof. Can Li

Postdoctoral Researchers

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Jungkuk Lee, Ph.D. spring 2021-present

Google Scholar 

PhD. Chemical Engineering, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, 2021


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


Graduate Students

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

Google Scholar

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


Research: Electrochemical ammonia synthesis, Nitrate reduction, Novel alkaline reactor design


Basil Rawah, Ph.D. candidate, fall 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, fall 2017-present     Google Scholar

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, fall 2018-present

Google Scholar


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

Research: Paired electrolysis of furanics, Flow cell design, Nitrate reduction, CO2 reduction


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

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


Research: Electrosynthesis of H2O2 in flow cells, Paired electrolyzer design


Tianlei Li , PhD student, summer 2021-

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Rochester University, 2021

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


Research: Cl2 evolution, Cl-mediated oxidation, paired electrolysis


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

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


Research: 2D Electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction (co-advised by Dr. Yue Wu)


Undergraduate Students


Yoke Qi Ho, Spring 2021, ChE490 Undergraduate Research 

Electrochemical Reduction of CO2

Huy Nguyen, since Fall 2021, Griswold research internship  Electrochemical Reduction of CO2

Group Photos


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

Google Scholar


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


Google Scholar


Current position: Research Engineer in Energizer, Cleveland, OH

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Dr. Yang Qiu  2018 spring, 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 2017 spring 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 2016 spring PhD dissertation: Electrocatalysts Design for Selective Oxidation of Organic Molecules in High-Performance Fuel Cell

Google Scholar 

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

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Dr. Le Xin 2014 spring 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 2012 fall PhD dissertation: Advanced Nanostructured Electro-Catalysts for Electricity Generation and Biorenewable Alcohol Conversion

Google Scholar

Current position: Universal Matter Ltd, Houston, TX


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Mr. Joseph Watkins, M.S. 2019 fall

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

Current position: Research Engineer, Plug Power


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 

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Mr. Zhichao Wang  M.S. 2012 fall


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. 2010 fall 


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. 2013 fall 


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

Postdoc Researchers

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

Google Scholar

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): 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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