Principal Investigator

Dr. Wenzhen Li

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

Currently, we have a postdoc opening in CO2 reduction research, and welcome qualified candidates to apply.

Graduate Students

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

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


Research: Electrochemical ammonia synthesis, Innovative HER and OER catalysis


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 production of H2O2 and activation of hydrocarbons, 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: Electrochemical reduction of nitrate, Paired electrolyzers


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

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

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: Research Associate, University of  Virginia,  Charlottesville, VA


Joseph Watkins, M.S. 2019 fall

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

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

Postdoc Researchers

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

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

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



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.

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© 2019 by Dr. Wenzhen Li. Proudly created with