Gang Wu

PhD

Gang Wu

PhD

Gang Wu

PhD

Research Topics

Functional materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion; electrocatalysis for renewable energy and environmental science; materials electrochemistry; batteries; fuel cells

Contact Information

309 Furnas Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-8618

Fax: (716) 645-3822

gangwu@buffalo.edu

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Research Topics

-Nanostructured functional materials for sustainable energy technologies
-Electrocatalysis for energy conversion (metal-air batteries, fuel cells, and water splitting)
-Advanced energy storage materials (batteries and supercapacitors)
-Environmental electrochemistry (electrochemical advanced oxidation, electrochemical sensors, materials corrosion and prevention)

Research Overview

Wu research group photo 2017

Energy conversion and storage devices relying on electrochemical reactions are among the most important energy technologies of modern day, including low-temperature fuel cells, metal-air batteries, and water electrolyzers. These devices offer many advantages over traditional fossil fuel combustion technologies, including better overall efficiency, high energy density, and the reduction of CO and other emissions. In particular, fuel cells are high-efficiency chemical-to-electrical energy conversion devices that can be used as power sources in electric vehicles, portable and stationary applications. Metal-air batteries can provide significantly enhanced energy densities when compared to traditional lithium ion batteries. They can be used to store clean energy obtained from renewable wind and solar sources, and also can be used for grid-scale energy storage in power plants. Additionally, water electrolysis can be used to generate H from renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydraulic power. However, these sustainable electrochemical energy technologies greatly rely on the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which are two of the most important and technologically pertinent electrochemical reactions. Due to high ORR and OER overpotentials and inherently slow reaction kinetics, these reactions require on highly active and durable catalysts that traditionally contain large precious metal contents such as Pt and Ir. Unfortunately, the high cost and limited supply of these precious metals has become a grand challenge for the widespread commercial success and implementation of these clean energy technologies. Development of non-precious metal catalysts for these oxygen-based reactions has become a hot topic in the field of electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Importantly, exploring advanced catalyst designs and synthesis strategies using earth-abundant elements will be scientifically important with the potential to provide fundamental knowledge and understanding in the field of materials electrochemistry, along with technological breakthroughs.

Projects

10/11/17
NGTs are used as an advanced support to boost Pt cathode performance for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which holds great promise to meet the US DOE 2020 metric targets for fuel cell vehicle applications. 
10/11/17
The primary goal of this project is to develop advanced catalysts and membrane electrodes assembly (MEAs) that may help to revive reversible AMFCs in stationary energy storage. 
10/11/17
The unique chemical and physical properties of graphene, such as its superior electron conductivity, high capacity for Li intercalation, and excellent electrochemical stability, make it one of the most promising materials to be used as an advanced anode in rechargeable LIB systems.
10/11/17
Significantly increased energy density of Li-air batteries. (Reprinted from Energy Technology 20142, 317-324)
10/11/17
The overall goals of the research aim to develop technologies for converting water and nitrogen into energy-dense liquid fuels such as ammonium, and back into electricity or hydrogen fuel on demand via an efficient decomposition process. In two integrated projects, the University at Buffalo Gang Wu lab is collaborating with two industrial organizations, Bettergy Corp. (Peekskill, NY) and Giner Inc (Newton, MA).
10/11/17
The primary approach is to develop novel atomic metal (e.g., Fe, Mn, Co, and Ni) single site catalyst embedded into highly porous and robust carbon matrix via newly developed metal-organic framework and polymer hydrogel methods. In next three years, UB will receive funding around $1.2 million for three projects.

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