Virtual Seminar Series - 3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday April 21 - Yushan Yan

Wed Apr 21 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
WebEx Link

Yushan YanYushan Yan, University of Delaware

"Towards platinum-free fuel cells for affordable zero-emission vehicles"

WebEx Link

Discount code: GTWEB2021


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, green hydrogen can help decarbonization through its 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 recent work on hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs). More specifically I will show the roadmap we have developed for this technology, the progress we have made in developing one of the most stable membranes and some of the most active nonprecious metal catalysts. I will also try to answer the fundamental question: why are hydrogen oxidation reactions are slower in base than in acid for precious metal catalysts?


Yushan Yan is the Henry B. du Pont Chair in 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/Project Leader 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 and the Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 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 a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher. 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 that are widely cited (24,000 + citations, h-index = 85, Web of Science; 30,000+ citations, h-index = 92, Google Scholar), and extensively covered by the media including New Scientist, Business Week, C&EN News, Materials Today, MRS360, Chemical Engineering Progress, China Press, Chinese Daily News, CNBC,, KABC, Radio Australia, and VOA. 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.