Jiao Group


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Feng Jiao

Feng Jiao
Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Associate Director, Center for Catalytic Science & Technology E-mail: jiao@udel.edu
Full CV

Research Overview

Energy conversion and storage are more important today than at any time in human history. Our research interests focus primarily on design and synthesis of nanostructured materials for solving critical issues in developing new generation energy storage and solar fuel production systems. In our lab, we combine our expertise in catalysis, materials science and electrochemistry, and by doing so are able to address the most exciting scientific challenges that occur in the field of energy conversion and storage. Breakthrough in this field is crucial for us to tackle global warming by providing the society with clean, sustainable, and environmental friendly energy supplies.

Recent News

2018-04-11: Dr. Jiao testified before a senate committee!


Dr. Jiao was invited by U.S. Senator John Barrasso and Senator Tom Carper to testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on April 11, 2018. The purpose of this hearing is to examine S. 2602, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (or USE IT Act). The bill covers important research and investments on carbon capture and utilization technologies, including direct air capture, carbon utilization, and infrastructure. A full record of this hearing can be found at HERE. Link to the UDaily story.

2018-01-21: Cost analysis of CO2 electrolysis technologies!


The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) has received significant attention in academic research, although the techno-economic prospects of the technology for the large-scale production of chemicals are unclear. In this work, we briefly reviewed the current state-of-the-art CO2 reduction figures of merit, and performed an economic analysis to calculate the end-of-life net present value (NPV) of a generalized CO2 electrolyzer system for the production of 100 tons/day of various CO2 reduction products. Under current techno-economic conditions, carbon monoxide and formic acid were the only economically viable products with NPVs of $13.5 million and $39.4 million, respectively. However, higher-order alcohols such as ethanol and n-propanol could be highly promising under future conditions if reasonable electrocatalytic performance benchmarks are achieved (e.g. 300mA/cm2 and 0.5V overpotential at 70% faradaic efficiency). Herein, we established performance targets such that if these targets are achieved, electrochemical CO2 reduction for fuels and chemicals production can become a profitable option as part of the growing renewable energy infrastructure. The results have been published in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

2017-10-10: Solar-powered CO2 electrolyzer!


A first-of-its-kind solar CO2 flow cell electrolyzer is reported here with a solar-to-fuel efficiency (SFE) of 6.5% at high operating currents (>1 A), orders of magnitude greater than those of other reported solar-driven devices that typically operate at currents of a few milliamperes. The approach of solar module-driven electrolysis, compared to monolithic photoelectrochemical cells, allows simpler manufacture, use of commercially available components, and optimization of the power transfer between the photovoltaic and the electrochemical systems. The results have been published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

2017-08-07: Perspective Article in ACS Catalysis - Nanoporous Metals as Electrocatalysts: State-of-the-Art, Opportunities, and Challenges

Nanoporous metals with their distinct three-dimensional interconnected porous networks are promising materials as electrocatalysts for fundamental studies and practical applications because they have highly conductive self-supporting porous structures with large electrochemical surface areas. This Perspective provides an overview of the recent developments and state-of-the-art nanoporous metals as electrocatalysts for various important electrochemical systems. Potential strategies and opportunities for utilizing the unique characteristics of nanoporous metals to overcome typical problems faced in electrocatalysis are presented. Lastly, challenges regarding the synthesis of nanoporous metals with controlled porous structure and targeted surface catalytic sites are also discussed to stimulate new ideas and interests for nanoporous metallic electrocatalysts.