Recently, Zhang Qian, a Distinguished Associate Research Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Chengdu University (CDU), has published his latest research results entitled "New Strategy to Synthesize Oxygen Vacancy-rich CoFe Nanoneedles for Overall Water Splitting and Urea Electrolysis" (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.134275) on Chemical Engineering Journal (IF=13.273), the top journal in the field of chemical engineering. The paper was published with CDU as the first affiliation and Zhao Peng, another Distinguished Associate Research Fellow, as the corresponding author.
Zhang Qian, in collaboration with the School of Mechanical Engineering at CDU, Guangxi University and Beijing University of Chemical Technology, has prepared oxygen vacancy-rich CoFe nanoneedles through the CaH2 reduction method and applied them in the area of electrolytic water and urea electrolysis. Compared with the traditional H2 reduction method, this method features a lower reaction temperature and a safer reaction process. This electrode material can be used as a bifunctional catalyst in the field of urea electrolysis to obtain a lower overpotential while solving the environmental pollution problem caused by urea-containing wastewater. The electrode material has the following advantages: (1) The open nanoneedle structure facilitates the exposure of more active sites while increasing the diffusion rate of ions on the electrode surface. (2) The CaH2 reduction method helps create more oxygen vacancies on the surface of the electrode material, which will further optimize the electronic structure and enhance the electrical conductivity of the electrode material. In addition, density functional theory (DFT) explains the role oxygen vacancy played in optimizing the electronic structure and enhancing the electrical conductivity from a theoretical perspective.
Chemical Engineering Journal is one of the top three most influential journals in the field of engineering technology and chemical engineering. It is also among the top journals in the division of engineering technology/chemistry/environment in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Beijing Natural Science Foundation, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.