The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is happy to welcome Professor XiaoYu Wu to the WIN family! Professor Wu will deliver a seminar in order to introduce himself and his research to our community. Please join us in giving him a warm welcome.
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Mixed conducting oxides for sustainable energy conversion and chemical production
Mixed ionic-electronic conducting (MIEC) oxides are the critical elements in various applications, such as gas separation membranes, thermochemical energy storage, catalysts, and non-volatile memory in computing. In this talk, we will focus on two applications in energy conversion and chemical production: perm-selective membranes and redox oxygen carriers. In the first application, my group is developing MIEC membranes for efficient hydrogen production and CO2 reduction. Effective separation of oxygen from water splitting products at elevated temperatures using La0.9Ca0.1FeO3-δ (LCF) perovskite membranes can significantly enhance the hydrogen production rates. Kinetics models were developed to identify the surface reactions as the rate limiting steps. Porous Ni/LCF catalysts were applied on the membrane surface to accelerate the surface reactions, raising the hydrogen production rates by two orders of magnitude to 0.37 µmol cm-2 s-1. The same operating principles were applied to enhance CO2 reduction to fuels without using previous metal catalysts, which offers a novel pathway for CO2 utilization. On the other hand, La2NiO4±δ (LNO) Ruddlesden-Popper nanorods were synthesized using reverse micro-emulsion method as oxygen carriers in isothermal redox cycles. Redox cycles can be used for thermal energy storage and solar-fuel production. The LNO nanorods exhibit oxygen carrying capacity one order of magnitude higher than that of the commercial CeO2 nanoparticles at lower operating temperatures of 600 – 700oC. This shows potential to decrease the amounts of oxides required to achieve the same hydrogen production rates in a redox cycle for solar-fuel production.
Professor XiaoYu Wu is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Zhejiang University, and Ph.D. from MIT. His research group, Greener Production @ Waterloo, combines expertise in thermal science, material engineering and techno-economics to develop sustainable technologies for energy conversion and chemical production. His research interests include hydrogen and ammonia production, inorganic membranes, and energy storage.