Renowned chemical engineer Jiao joins McKelvey School of Engineering

His research seeks to deliver clean energy and chemical solutions

Beth Miller 

Feng Jiao, a renowned expert in carbon capture and utilization, joined the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis Aug. 1 as a professor.

Jiao brings with him expertise in on developing cutting-edge electrochemical technologies that address pressing global issues in energy storage, chemical manufacturing and food production. His lab focuses on advancing electrochemical systems for carbon utilization by pursuing high-performance CO2 and CO electrolysis, surpassing the efficiency of conventional fossil-based systems and exploring innovative synthesis methods for nanostructured materials tailored for energy applications, with the goal to mitigate global climate change by delivering clean, sustainable, and eco-friendly energy and chemical solutions, ultimately contributing to a more responsible and greener future. 

His team was the first to form carbon-nitrogen bonds in an electrochemical carbon monoxide reduction reaction, which allowed them to produce high-value chemicals called amides. This work is a step toward addressing carbon dioxide emission issues and use carbon feedstock to produce high-value chemicals.

Jiao earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom in 2008 and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai in 2001. He holds three U.S. patents.

Jiao joins McKelvey School of Engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was most recently professor and graduate program director in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology. Jiao was hired at Washington University as part of the environmental research initiative in Here and Next, Washington University’s strategic plan initiative, which aims to mobilize research, education, and patient care to establish WashU and St. Louis as a global hub for transformative solutions to the deepest societal challenges. 

Jiao is editor of Chemical Engineering Journal and an advisory board member of several other journals. He recently received funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Gates Foundation to create a sustainable source of protein for human food derived from carbon dioxide. 

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