Nanoporous Mate­ri­als for Solar Fuel Pro­duc­tion

2014 Spring Symposium

Feng Jiao
Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing
Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Abstract — Solar fuel pro­duc­tion is an impor­tant tech­no­log­i­cal chal­lenge, con­sid­er­ing that the ener­gy of sun­light that strikes the earth’s sur­face in an hour is suf­fi­cient to meet our ener­gy demands for a year. Irre­spec­tive of the approach that is pur­sued, oxy­gen evo­lu­tion from water is the crit­i­cal reac­tion, because water is the only cheap, clean and abun­dant source that is capa­ble of com­plet­ing the redox cycle for pro­duc­ing either hydro­gen (from H2O) or car­bona­ceous fuels (from CO2) on a ter­awatt scale. Here, we will show our recent stud­ies in meso­porous spinel sys­tems, which sug­gest the met­al sit­ting at the octa­he­dral site has huge impact on the water oxi­da­tion activ­i­ty of spinel cat­a­lysts. Anoth­er top­ic will be dis­cussed in the pre­sen­ta­tion is the devel­op­ment of selec­tive and robust CO2 reduc­tion elec­tro­cat­a­lyst. We will present a nanoporous Ag elec­tro­cat­a­lyst, which is able to elec­tro­chem­i­cal­ly reduce CO2 to CO with a ~92% selec­tiv­i­ty at a rate (i.e. cur­rent) of over 3000 times high­er than its poly­crys­talline coun­ter­part under a mod­er­ate over­po­ten­tial of less than 0.50 V. Such an excep­tion­al­ly high activ­i­ty is a result of a large elec­tro­chem­i­cal sur­face area (ca. 150 times larg­er) and intrin­si­cal­ly high activ­i­ties (ca. 20 times high­er) com­pared to poly­crys­talline Ag.
Feng_JiaoBiog­ra­phy — Feng Jiao obtained his BS in chem­istry at Fudan Uni­ver­si­ty (2001) and his PhD degree in Chem­istry at Uni­ver­si­ty of St Andrews (Scot­land, 2008), before mov­ing to Lawrence Berke­ley Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry as a post­doc schol­ar. He spent two years in Berke­ley devel­op­ing solar fuel tech­nol­o­gy and joined in the Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware as an assis­tant pro­fes­sor in 2010. He has already pub­lished more than 35 jour­nal papers in lead­ing sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals, such as Nature Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, J. Am. Chem. Soc., and Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. His research activ­i­ties include syn­the­sis of nanoporous mate­ri­als and their poten­tial appli­ca­tions in ener­gy stor­age and con­ver­sion.