By Fanglin Che
Prof. Feng Jiao, Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis
Title: Electrocatalytic Conversion of Small Molecules For Chemical and Food Production
As our society faces the pressing challenges of climate change and global warming, driven in part by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, reducing CO2 emissions has become a critical mission in the pursuit of a sustainable future. Traditional chemical industry processes often rely on fossil fuels, which inevitably emit substantial quantities of CO2. The Jiao group is developing CO2 electrolysis devices that convert CO2 into value-added chemicals and fuels through innovative electrocatalyst design and reactor engineering. In this presentation, we will showcase our recent work on a two-step tandem CO2 electrolysis system. We have reported an internally coupled purification strategy that significantly enhances acetate concentration and purity in CO electrolysis. This approach employs an alkaline-stable anion exchange membrane with high ethanol permeability and a selective ethanol partial oxidation anode to regulate the CO reduction product stream. The acetate produced from CO2/CO also shows its potential to drive biological systems without the presence of light. This creates unique opportunities for future food productions. In addition, we will also discuss electrochemical conversions of other small molecules, such as NOx, which also have significant impact on our environment.
Professor Feng Jiao holds a BSc in Chemistry from Fudan University in China and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom. Following the completion of his postdoctoral training at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he joined the faculty at the University of Delaware in 2010. Then, he was promoted to full professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and served as the Director of the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology. In August 2023, Professor Jiao joined the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis as the Elvera and William R. Stuckenberg Professor. He also serves as the founding director of the Center for Carbon Management. The Jiao group is dedicated to developing electrochemical devices to address critical energy storage and sustainability challenges. Professor Jiao has published over 100 research papers, which have collectively received more than 17,000 citations.
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