This year, Binghong Han, one of the DMSE graduate students under Yang Shao-Horn, was awarded the Chinese Government Award for Oustanding Students Abroad for his research in reaction and degradation mechanisms for oxygen electrochemical processes in fuel cells and batteries. The Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad is a scholarship set up by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to honor overseas Chinese students with outstanding academic accomplishments. Established in 2003, this award is developed to encourage research excellence and to recognize the achievements among Chinese students abroad. Only 161 students in the US--out of roughly 300,000--received the award this year, making it a tremendous achievement.
Binghong originates from Jinan, Shandong, China. He received his BA in Physics from Peking University and was awarded the Wusi Student Medal during his undergraduate studies. His research focuses on the reaction mechanisms of electrochemical catalysis processes for both oxygen reduction reaction in proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells and oxygen evolution reaction in water splitting electrolyzers and metal-air batteries. He has already first-authored or co-authored 7 publications and collaborated on 14 papers that have appeared in top journals in the fields of energy and physical chemistry, such as Energy and Environmental Science.
Congratulations to Binghong on this incredible honor!
Introduction to Record activity and stability of dealloyed bimetallic catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Published by Energy and Environmental Science
Reducing the usage of costly Pt in proton exchange membrane fuel cell is one of the major challenges towards the development and commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. In order to make commercial-friendly fuel cell vehicles, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has set a specific performance target for initial fuel cell catalyst activity and fuel cell durability. While a number of Pt-alloy catalyst concepts have met the initial-activity target using preliminary and idealized disk electrode screening tests, few to none have met the initial-activity requirements in a realistic fuel cell device, and no catalyst has ever met the demanding fuel cell durability targets. In this EES paper, by combining high-resolution electron microscopic techniques with electrochemistry characterizations on real fuel cell assembly, Binghong Han and his colleagues successfully developed fundamental atomic-scale insights into the reaction and degradation mechanisms in Pt-metal alloy catalysts. With the new catalyst design principles discovered in this paper, they reported new pre-acid-leached Pt-Ni core-shell nanoparticles with previously unachieved activity and durability measured under automotive testing conditions. The performance durability of the new fuel cell catalysts for the first time met and exceeded the official 2017 DOE targets by the end of 2014, three years earlier than the original target, which is really a milestone in the field.