Explore the Nano World 

 Wen's Research Group​

Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Principal Investigator

Phone: (973) 596-5520 
Fax: (973) 596-5790
Email: wen.zhang@njit.edu

Office Location: Colton Hall 211

Find us on the map: 

Gao Jianan is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He graduated from Qingdao University of Technology, earning both his Bachelor's (2017) and Master's (2020) degrees. His primary research focus is on the application of electrufied membranes for water pollution control and resource recovery. As the first author, he has published 7 papers in journals including Environmental Science & Technology, Advanced Energy Materials, ACS NANO, and Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, with over 1000 citations. He has received several awards, such as the Heh-Won Chang PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS), The C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award, the Student Fellowship Awards from the North American Membrane Society (NAMS), the Founding President Best Paper Award from CAPEES, and the Kenneth S. Stoller Award from the New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA).

Dr. Wen Zhang’s group at New Jersey Institute of Technology presented a novel approach to accelerate the electrochemical upcycling of nitrate (NO3–) to ammonia (NH3) for synergizing both wastewater treatment and NH3 synthesis. Efficient stripping of gaseous products (NH3, H2, and N2) from electrocatalysts is crucial for continuous and stable electrochemical reactions. This study evaluated a layered electrocatalyst structure using copper (Cu) dendrites to enable a high curvature and hydrophobicity and achieve a stratified liquid contact at the gas–liquid interface of the electrocatalyst layer. As such, gaseous product desorption or displacement from electrocatalysts was enhanced due to the separation of a wetted reaction zone and a nonwetted zone for gas transfer. Consequently, this electrocatalyst structure yielded a 2.9-fold boost in per-active-site activity compared with that with a low curvature and high hydrophilic counterpart. Moreover, a NH3 Faradaic efficiency of 90.9 ± 2.3% was achieved with nearly 100% NO3– conversion. This high-curvature hydrophobic Cu dendrite was further integrated with a gas-extraction membrane, which demonstrated a comparable NH3 yield from the real reverse osmosis retentate brine.






新泽西理工大学土木与环境工程系张文教授课题组近期于Advanced Energy Materials发表研究论文。硝酸盐(NO3–)的电化学升级至氨(NH3)为废水处理与氨合成的协同作用提供了广阔前景。连续稳定的电化学反应需要有效地从电催化剂中剥离气态产物(NH3、H2和N2)。本研究采用铜(Cu)树枝状结构的层状电催化剂结构,以实现高曲率和疏水性的耦合。通过在电催化剂层的气-液界面实现湿润反应区与非湿润的气体传输区的分层构建,提高了气态产物的脱附或分离。因此,与低曲率和高亲水性对应物相比,这种电催化剂结构的活性位点活性提高了2.9倍。此外,实现了90.9 ± 2.3%的NH3法拉第效率和几乎100%的NO3–转化率。这种高曲率疏水性Cu树枝状结构进一步与气体提取膜集成,用于实际反渗透浓缩液处理,获得了与合成电解液相当的NH3产量。 本研究得到 NSF/BSF项目(奖励编号:2215387)和New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute (奖励编号:G21AP10595-01)。作者还感谢新泽西理工大学Joshua Young和Mengqiang Zhao教授,普林斯顿大学 Zhiyong Jason Ren教授,耶鲁大学Jae-Hong Kim的支持。

Coupling Curvature and Hydrophobicity: A Counterintuitive Strategy for Efficient Electroreduction of Nitrate into Ammonia (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.4c02020)

高佳楠 新泽西理工学院土木与环境工程系环境工程专业在读博士。2020年毕业于青岛理工大学环境与市政工程学院,获得学士及硕士学位。主要研究方向为电化学膜用于水污染控制与资源回收方向的应用。以第一作者在Environmental Science & Technology, Advanced Energy Materials, ACS NANO,Applied Catalysis B: Environmental等期刊发表论文7篇,论文被引用次数1000+。曾获美国化学学会(ACS)颁发的Heh-Won Chang PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry Award,The C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award, 北美膜协会(NAMS) 颁发的Student Fellowship Awards,CAPEES颁发的Founding President Best Paper Award,新泽西州水协会(NJWEA)颁发的Kenneth S. Stoller Award等奖项