Biomass fuel cell, bio-hydrogen production and biomass nanomaterials

Professor Yulin Deng, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and IPST at Georgia Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

18 June 2015 at 10:30

Location: JHE 144

In this talk, I will briefly discuss our recent research in three areas: 1) low temperature biomass fuel cell; 2) low temperature hydrogen production using raw biomass; 3) cellulose nanomaterials and their applications.

 A novel fuel cell that directly consumes natural polymeric biomasses, such as starch, cellulose, lignin, and even switchgrass and wood powders will be discussed.  This fuel cellcombines some features of solar cells, fuel cells, and redox flow batteries. Specifically, the polyoxomatelate forms a charge transfer complex with the biomass by either absorbing solar light or heat energy.  The complex release their electrons to anode.  These electrons pass through anode to cathode where oxygen captures the electrons.  The power density of the solar-induced hybrid fuel cell powered by cellulose reaches 0.72 mW/cm2, which isalmost 3,000 times higherthan cellulose based microbialfuel cells.Unlike most cell technologies that are sensitive to impurities, the cell reported in this study is inert to most organic and inorganic contaminants present in the fuels.  The fuel cell is completely noble metal free.   The similar system was investigated for low temperature hydrogen production using native biomass directly.  At the end of my talk, a brief introduction of our research on the cellulose nanomaterials will be summarized. 

Professor Yulin Deng received his Ph.D. at Manchester University, United Kingdom in 1992.  He worked as a postdoc research fellow at McMaster University in Canada in Professor Robert Pelton’s group for 3 year.  He was appointed as an assistant professor at Institute of Paper Science and technology (IPST) in 1995, and promoted to associate professor in 1998.  He was transferred to Georgia institute of Technology in 2003, and promoted as a full professor in 2008. 

 Dr. Deng is a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science, a member of ACS, AIChE and TAPPI. He received AIChE Chase Award in 2013.  He is also the associate editor of 2 journals, and serves as the editorial board member for five journals.  He published more than 200 peer reviewed papers covering biomass, biofuel, fuel cell, nanosceince and nanotechnology, and nanoelectronics.     

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