ChBE Seminar: Towards platinum-free fuel cells for affordable zero-emission vehicles

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
11:00 a.m.
0408 ANS (Animal Sciences)
Taylor Woehl

Speaker: Yushan Yan, Professor and Chair, ChBE, University of Delaware

Title: Towards platinum-free fuel cells for affordable zero-emission vehicles


Green hydrogen from wind and solar electricity is necessary to decarbonize certain sectors of our economy that are inaccessible by renewable electricity, and it has the potential to reduce more than 30% of the global carbon emission. For the transportation sector, the decarbonization by green hydrogen is through the use in fuel cells. Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen that is produced by water electrolyzers powered by renewable electricity. For low temperature fuel cells and electrolyzers, polymer electrolytes play a critical role in controlling their cost, performance, and durability, and consequently their economic viability. In this presentation, I will focus on our work on hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs). More specifically I will highlight the progress we have made in developing one of the most stable membranes and the activity targets we have developed for the nonprecious metal catalysts. I will also show the work that has been done by community for solving the CO2 and water management problems.  


Yushan Yan is the Henry B. du Pont Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He previously served as the Founding Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware, Department Chair at the University of California Riverside, and Senior Staff Engineer at AlliedSignal. His recognitions include University Scholar Professor from the University of California Riverside and Presidential Chair from the University of California, the Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association, the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award, the Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering, and the R. H. Wilhelm Award for Reaction Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, The Carl Wagner Memorial Award and the Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Electrochemical Society. He is an inventor on 20+ issued US patents that have contributed to several startups (e.g., NanoH2O). He is currently the Founder and CEO of a University of Delaware spinout ( His research has led to 270+ publications and he is a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher (30,000+ citations, h-index = 94, Google Scholar). He studied Chemical Physics (BS) at the University of Science and Technology of China and Chemical Engineering (PhD) at the California Institute of Technology. He has been an advisor for 30+ PhD students and 30+ postdoctoral researchers, with 20+ of them holding faculty positions.

Audience: Campus 

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