Academic Staff

CHEN Guohua (Prof.)
Associate Vice President (Research Support), Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Professor in Smart and Sustainable Energy, Chair Professor of Energy Conversion and Storage
B.Eng. (Dalian University of Technology), M.Eng.; PhD (McGill), FHKIE, Fellow AIChE
FG 606
27666647
23654703
Area of Specialization

Advanced electrode materials for energy storage; electrochemical technologies for energy and environmental applications; drying of high value products.

Short Description

Professor Chen received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology (DUT) in China. He then obtained the Master of Engineering degree and PhD degree from McGill University in Canada.

Professor Chen joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) as a Visiting Scholar in 1994, then as Assistant Professor in 1997, and rising through the academic ranks to Professor in 2008. Professor Chen also assumed the headship of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering during 2012-2016.

Professor Chen has served in many professional societies and editorial boards of key international journals. Apart from serving as the Chairman, Chemical Discipline for the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers during 2009 and 2012, he is the President of the Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering, Editor of Separation and Purification Technology since 2006, Associate Editor of the Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, subject editor of Process Safety and Environmental Protection, and the editorial board member of Journal of Electrochemistry, Drying Technology-An International Journal, Environmental Technology Reviews, etc. He is an Adjunct Professor of DUT and Changjiang Scholar (Chair), Ministry of Education in China.

Professor Chen’s recent research interests include electrochemical technologies for energy and environmental applications. He has published over 235 journal papers with more than 18,000 Google citations and an H-index of 66. Professor Chen edited 3 books, and was granted three US patents and four China patents. In relation to his research achievements, Professor Chen received the Certificate of Excellence from the World Forum of Crystallization, Filtration and Drying in 2007 and the inaugural Research Excellence Award from the School of Engineering of HKUST in 2011. He was elected as a Fellow of Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, and Fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Brief Description of Three Research Projects:

Project 1:

The New Generation of High Capacity Batteries for Energy Storage (Supported by PolyU Centre of Excellence)

Objectives of the Project: The ultimate objective of the proposed research would be the synthesis and improvement of the materials for high capacity batteries systems with safe operation, long service life and low cost. Specifically, the efforts will be focused on the cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator development for high voltage lithium (sodium) ion batteries, and lithium (sodium)-sulfur batteries for power supply and energy storage. For high voltage lithium (sodium) ion batteries development, it will involve

1) cathode materials synthesis from MO2+LiF or MO2 + NaF using solid state reaction in a high speed ball mill;

2) materials surface modification by coating of conductive polymers using oxidative chemical vapor deposition method (oCVD);

3) selection of proper additives and binders for high capacity anode materials such as silicon and metal oxides;

4) exploration of high conductivity ionic liquid or gel as high voltage electrolyte;

5) assembly of pouch cells to build an energy storage or power supply device with proper battery management system.

 

For lithium (sodium)-sulfur batteries investigation, it will involve

1) immobilization of S and polysulfides in the cathode compartment using novel porous carbon or metal oxides so that the stability of the battery can be maintained;

2) investigation of tough materials such as ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) as the separator so as to prevent the short-circuit from the lithium (sodium) dendrites formed on the anode;

3) synthesis of polymeric solid electrolyte with sufficient ion and electron conductivity so as to enhance the safety of the Li(Na)-S batteries;

4) exploration of the surface modification and additives to the electrolyte to suppress the formation of lithium (sodium) dendrites;

5) assembly of pouch cells to build an energy storage or power supply device with proper battery management system.

Theoretical study of the materials based first principles analysis and density function theory calculation will also be employed for the materials screening and redox mechanism understanding.

 

Project 2:

Oxidative Chemical Vapor Deposition of Conductive Polymers on Particle Materials as Cathodes for Lithium Ion Batteries (Supported by RGC-GRF)

Energy is one of the most challenging problems for mankind today. Renewable energy is the future, and energy storage is very important for effective renewable energy utilization because of the mismatch between supply and demand. Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) offer a highly promising energy storage system for power grid load leveling and the transportation of power supplies. The properties of the electrode particles significantly affect the performance of LIBs. To enhance the electrical or ionic conductivity, service life, and/or rate performance of the electrodes, a conductive polymer coating has proven effective. Although thickness control and conformality are very important factors for the effective coating of such polymers, conventional coating is conducted either in a liquid or solid phase, leading to non-uniform coating or aggregate formation on the electrode particles.

Oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) of polymeric materials has been shown to be a “green” process as it can produce a conformal polymer layer on small particles without the involvement of solvents. The desired morphology and thickness can be achieved by changing operating conditions such as the temperature, pressure, type of initiator, rate of particle agitation, and coating time.

In this proposed work, the oCVD method will be employed to coat three common types of conductive polymers on solid particles typically utilized in LIB production. Specifically, PEDOT, PPy, and PAni will be coated onto lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide, a cathode material used in high-capacity LIBs. Operating conditions such as the substrate temperature, vacuum of the reactor, initiator, and monomer will be investigated to identify coating conditions for the optimal electrochemical performance of the batteries, mainly in terms of rate performance, coulombic efficiency, and service life.

The reasons behind the enhanced performance of the coated materials will be found by comparing the effects of coating type and composition. The success of the project will have an important effect on the production of durable LIBs for power supply and energy storage applications.

 

Project 3:

Preparation, Properties and Mechanism Study of High Performance Cathodes for Li-S Batteries: Electron and Lithium Ion Transmission Enhancements and Anchoring of Polysulfides (Supported by NSFC/RGC)

4. Project Objectives: In this project, constructions and fabrications of lithium ion conductor-modified S/hetero-atom(s) doped carbons (S/HCs@LIC) cathode materials and electrodes with lithium ion and electron transmission enhancement and anchoring of polysulfides are proposed to improve the rate performance and cycling stability of Li-S batteries. Specifically, the project objectives are:

1. To prepare hetero-atom(s) doped carbons (HCs) with micro- and meso-pores to enhance the conductivity and lithium ion (Li+) transmission and to anchor sulfur/polysulfides for S/HCs cathode materials during the discharge/charge cycles.

2. To modify S/HCs cathode materials by lithium ion conductor (LIC) coating for further enhancement of Li+ transmission, adsorption and anchoring of sulfur/polysulfides of the cathode materials.

3. To investigate the diffusion of intermediate products, interface structure and phase transformation of S/HCs@LIC during cycling by simulation, in-situ/ex-situ physiochemical and electrochemical characterizations, and elucidate the mechanism of polysulfide anchoring.

4. To fabricate the large-capacity prototype Li-S batteries using S/HCs@LIC cathode materials and to investigate the impacts of the particle size of S/HCs@LIC’s, electrode compositions (S/HCs@LIC, conductor, binder and additives) and fabrication process on the porous structure and interface properties of the as-prepared electrodes, the electron and Li+ transfer, and electrochemical performance of the batteries.

5. To fabricate S/HCs@LIC cathode materials with a specific capacity of ≥ 1000 mAh g-1 based on S mass (700 mAh g-1 based on S/HCs@LIC mass) and a capacity retention ratio of over 80% after 1000 cycles at 1 C rate (1600 mA g-1), and to provide electrodes based on S/HCs@LIC active material for practical applications of Li-S batteries.

Selected Journal Publications
a) Selected Refereed Journal Publications – Ten representative ones in recent five years
  1. Su, J., Bai, Z., Huang, B., Quan, X. and Chen, G., Unique three dimensional architecture using a metal-free semiconductor cross-linked bismuth vanadate for efficient photoelectrochemical water oxidation, Nano Energy, 24(2016)148-157.
  2. Deng, Y., Xu, H., Bai, Z., Huang, B., Su, J. and Chen, G., Durable polydopamine-coated porous sulfur core–shell cathode for high performance lithium–sulfur batteries, Journal of Power Sources, 300 (2015) 386-394.
  3. Zhang, L.T., Tarascon, J-M, Sougrati, M.T., Rousse, G. and Chen, G., Influence of relative humidity on structure and electrochemical performance of sustainable LiFeSO4F electrode for Li-ion batteries, J Mater. Chem. A, 3, 16988-16997(2015).
  4. Xu, HJ, Deng, SN and Chen, G, Improved electrochemical performance of Li1.2Mn0.54Ni0.13Co0.13O2 by Mg doping for lithium ion battery cathode material, J Mater. Chem. A, 2, 15015-15021 (2014).
  5. Qian, YX , Deng, YF , Wan, LN , Xu, HJ , Qin, XS and Chen, G, Investigation of the effect of extra lithium addition and post annealing on the electrochemical performance of high-voltage spinel LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 cathode material, J. Phys. Chem. C,118, 15581-15589 (2014).
  6. Deng, Y.F., Zhou, Y.B., Shi, Z.C., Zhou, X., Quan, X. and Chen, G., Porous LiMn2O4 microspheres as durable high power cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, J Mater. Chem. A, 1, 8170–8177 (2013).
  7. Qian, Y., Deng, Y.F., Shi, Z.C., Zhou, Y., Zhuang, Q. and Chen G., Sub-micrometer-sized LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 spheres as high rate cathode materials for long-life lithium ion batteries, Electrochem. Comm., 27, 92–95 (2013)
  8. Zhang Q., Shi, Z., Deng, Y., Zheng, J., Liu, G. and Chen, G., Hollow Fe3O4/C spheres as superior lithium storage materials, J. Power Sources, 197, 305– 309 (2012).
  9. Deng, Y.F., Li, Z.E., Shi, Z.C., Xu, H., Peng, F. and Chen, G., Porous Mn2O3 microsphere as a superior anode material for lithium ion batteries, RSC Advances, 2 (11) 4645-4647 (2012).
  10. Deng,Y.F., Zhang, Q., Tang, S., Zhang, L., Deng, S., Shi, Z. and Chen, G., One-pot synthesis of ZnFe2O4/C hollow spheres as superior materials for lithium ion batteries, Chem. Comm., 47, 6828-6830 (2011). 
b) Selected Refereed Journal Publications – Ten representatives beyond recent five years
  1. Zhu, Z.R., Li, X.Y., Zhao, Q., Li, H., Shen, Y., and Chen, G., Porous "brick-like" NiFe2O4 nanocrystals loaded with Ag species towards effective degradation of toluene, Chemical Engineering Journal, 165(1) 64-70 (2010).
  2. Hou, Y., Li, X.Y., Zhao, Q.D., Quan, X. and Chen, G., Electrochemical method for synthesis of a ZnFe2O4/TiO2 composite nanotube array modified electrode with enhanced photoelectrochemical activity, Adv. Funct. Mater., 20, 2165–2174 (2010).
  3. Jia, J., Li, X.Y. and Chen, G., Stable spinel type cobalt and copper oxide electrodes for O2 and H2 evolution in alkaline solution, Electrochimica Acta, 55, 8197–8206 (2010) .
  4. Zhang, H., Li, X.Y. and Chen, G., Ionic liquid-facilitated synthesis and catalytic activity of highly dispersed Ag nanoclusters supported on TiO2, J. Mater. Chem., 19(43) 8223-8231 (2009).
  5. Zhang, H. and Chen, G., Potent antibacterial activity of Ag/TiO2 nanocomposite powders synthesized by a one-pot sol-gel method, Environ. Sci. & Technol., 43 (8) 2905–2910 (2009).
  6. Wang, YX, Li, XY, Lu, G, Quan X and Chen, G., Highly oriented 1-D ZnO nanorod arrays on zinc foil: Direct growth from substrate, optical properties and photocatalytic activities, J. Phys. Chem. C, 112(19) 7332-7336 (2008).
  7. Wang N., Li X.Y., Wang Y., Hou Y., Zou X. and Chen G., Synthesis of ZnO/TiO2 nanotube composite film by a two-step route, Mater. Lett., 62(21-22)3691-3693 (2008).
  8. Guo, L. and Chen, G., Long term stable Ti/BDD electrode fabricated with HFCVD method using 2-stage substrate temperature, J. Electrochem. Soc., 154 (12) D657-D661 (2007).
  9. Chen, X. and Chen, G., Anodic oxidation of Orange II on Ti/BDD electrode: variable effects, Sep. Purif. Technol., 48(1) 45-49 (2006).
  10. Chen, X., Gao, F. and Chen, G., Comparison of Ti/BDD and Ti/SnO2-Sb2O5 electrodes for pollutant oxidation, J. Applied Electrochem., 35, 185-191 (2005).
c) Top twenty most SCI cited papers (as of February 2017)
  1. Electrochemical technologies in wastewater treatment, By: Chen, GH SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY Volume: 38 Issue: 1 Pages: 11-41 Published: JUL 15 2004, cited 1086 times.
  2. Photoelectrocatalytic materials for environmental applications, By: Zhang, Huanjun; Chen, Guohua; Bahnemann, Detlef W. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY Volume: 19 Issue: 29 Pages: 5089-5121 Published: 2009 Cited 426 times
  3. Separation of pollutants from restaurant wastewater by electrocoagulation, By: Chen, XM; Chen, GH; Yue, PL SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY Volume: 19 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 65-76 Published: JUN 1 2000 Cited 398 times
  4. Electrochemical removal of fluoride ions from industrial wastewater, By: Shen, F; Chen, XM; Gao, P; Chen, GH. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE Volume: 58 Issue: 3-6 Pages: 987-993 Published: FEB-MAR 2003 Cited 198 times
  5. Fabrication of boron-doped TiO2 nanotube array electrode and investigation of its photoelectrochemical capability, By: Lu, Na; Quan, Xie; Li, JingYuan; Chen, Shuo; Yu, HongTao; Chen, GuoHua. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C Volume: 111 Issue: 32 Pages: 11836-11842 Published: AUG 16 2007 Cited 182 times
  6. As(V) adsorption on maghemite nanoparticles, By: Tuutijarvi, T.; Lu, J.; Sillanpaa, M.; Chen, GH. JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS Volume: 166 Issue: 2-3 Pages: 1415-1420 Published: JUL 30 2009 Cited 169 times
  7. Potent Antibacterial Activities of Ag/TiO2 Nanocomposite Powders Synthesized by a One-Pot Sol-Gel Method, By: Zhang, Huanjun; Chen, Guohua ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Volume: 43 Issue: 8 Pages: 2905-2910 Published: APR 15 2009 Cited 157 times
  8. Fast removal and recovery of Cr(VI) using surface-modified jacobsite (MnFe204) nanoparticles, By: Hu, J; Lo, IMC; Chen, GH. LANGMUIR Volume: 21 Issue: 24 Pages: 11173-11179 Published: NOV 22 2005 Cited 152 times
  9. Photoeletrocatalytic Activity of a Cu2O-Loaded Self-Organized Highly Oriented TiO2 Nanotube Array Electrode for 4-Chlorophenol Degradation, By: Hou, Yang; Li, Xinyong; Zou, Xuejun; Quan Xie; Chen, Guohua. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Volume: 43 Issue: 3 Pages: 858-863 Published: FEB 1 2009 Cited 151 times
  10. Electrochemical Method for Synthesis of a ZnFe2O4/TiO2 Composite Nanotube Array Modified Electrode with Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Activity, By: Hou, Yang; Li, Xin-Yong; Zhao, Qi-Dong; Quan, Xie; Chen, Guohua. ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS Volume: 20 Issue: 13 Pages: 2165-2174 Published: JUL 9 2010 Cited 142 times
  11. Electrocoagulation and electroflotation of restaurant wastewater, By: Chen, GH; Chen, XM; Yue, PL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING-ASCE Volume: 126 Issue: 9 Pages: 858-863 Published: SEP 2000 Cited 136 times
  12. Removal of chromium(VI) from wastewater by combined electrocoagulation-electroflotation without a filter, By: Gao, P; Chen, XM; Shen, F; Chen, GH. SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Pages: 117-123 Published: MAY 2005 Cited 131 times
  13. One-pot synthesis of ZnFe2O4/C hollow spheres as superior anode materials for lithium ion batteries, By: Deng, Yuanfu; Zhang, Qiumei; Tang, Shidi; Zhang, Leiting; Deng, Shengnan; Chen, Guohua. CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 47 Issue: 24 Pages: 6828-6830 Published: 2011 Cited 129 times
  14. Selective removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewater using maghemite nanoparticle: Performance and mechanisms, By: Hu, J; Chen, GH; Lo, IMC JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING-ASCE Volume: 132 Issue: 7 Pages: 709-715 Published: JUL 2006 Cited 120 times
  15. Comparison of Ti/BDD and Ti/SnO2-Sb2O5 electrodes for pollutant oxidation, By: Chen, XM; Gao, FR; Chen, GH JOURNAL OF APPLIED ELECTROCHEMISTRY Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Pages: 185-191 Published: FEB 2005 Cited 114 times
  16. Stable Ti/IrOx-Sb2O5-SnO2 anode for O2 evolution with low Ir content, By: Chen, XM; Chen, GH; Yue, PL JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B Volume: 105 Issue: 20 Pages: 4623-4628 Published: MAY 24 2001 Cited 109 times
  17. High-performance Ti/BDD electrodes for pollutant oxidation, By: Chen, XM; Chen, GH; Gao, FR; Yue, PL. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Volume: 37 Issue: 21 Pages: 5021-5026 Published: NOV 1 2003 Cited 106 times
  18. Anodic oxidation of dyes at novel Ti/B-diamond electrodes, By: Chen, XM; Chen, GH; Yue, PL CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE Volume: 58 Issue: 3-6 Pages: 995-1001 Published: FEB-MAR 2003 Cited 106 times
  19. Electrochemical behavior of novel Ti/IrOx-Sb2O5-SnO2 anodes, By: Chen, GH; Chen, XM; Yue, PL JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B Volume: 106 Issue: 17 Pages: 4364-4369 Published: MAY 2 2002 Cited 106 times
  20. Sludge dewatering and drying, By: Chen, GH; Yue, PL; Mujumdar, AS DRYING TECHNOLOGY Volume: 20 Issue: 4-5 Pages: 883-916 Published: 2002 Cited 106 times