Faculty Profile

Yushan Yan

Henry B. du Pont Chair of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering


  • Doctorate – 1997 California Institute of Technology
  • Masters – 1995 California Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors – 1988 University of Science and Technology of China

About Yushan Yan

Yushan Yan is the Henry B. du Pont Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He 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, Presidential Chair from the University of California, Distinguished Engineering Professor from the University of Delaware, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association, the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Braskem Award for Materials Science and Engineering from the American Insitute of Chemical Engineers, and Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. He was one of 37 awardees of the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E OPEN 2009, one of 66 awardees of the ARPA-E OPEN 2012, and one of 40 ARPA-E OPEN 2018. He has been an inventor on a number of issued or pending patents, some of which were licensed to form startup companies (e.g., NanoH2O). He is currently the founder and CEO of a University of Delaware spinout W7energy (W7enery.com). His research has led to 250+ publications that are widely cited (19,000+ citations; h-index = 75, Web of Science; h-index = 82, 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, CNN.com, KABC, Radio Australia, and VOA. He studied Chemical Physics (BS) at the University of Science and Technology of China, Heterogeneous Catalysis at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Chemical Engineering (PhD) at the California Institute of Technology.

Select Publications 

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Gu, S.; Xu, B.; Yan, Y.: Electrochemical Energy Engineering: A New Frontier of Chemical Engineering Innovation. In Annu Rev Chem Biomol; Prausnitz, J. M., Doherty, M. F., Segalman, R. A., Eds.; Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2014; Vol. 5; pp 429-454.
  2. Abbasi, R.; Setzler, B. P.; Lin, S.; Wang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Xu, H.; Pivovar, B.; Tian, B.; Chen, X.; Wu, G.; Yan, Y. A Roadmap to Low-Cost Hydrogen with Hydroxide Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers. Advanced Materials 2019, 31.
  3. Wang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Setzler, B. P.; Rojas-Carbonell, S.; Ben Yehuda, C.; Amel, A.; Page, M.; Wang, L.; Hu, K.; Shi, L.; Gottesfeld, S.; Xu, B.; Yan, Y. Poly(aryl piperidinium) membranes and ionomers for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells. Nature Energy 2019, 4, 392-398.
  4. Setzler, B. P.; Zhuang, Z.; Wittkopf, J. A.; Yan, Y. Activity targets for nanostructured platinum group-metal-free catalysts in hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells. Nature Nanotechnology 2016, 11, 1020-1025.
  5. Sheng, W.; Zhuang, Z.; Gao, M.; Zheng, J.; Chen, J. G.; Yan, Y. Correlating hydrogen oxidation and evolution activity on platinum at different pH with measured hydrogen binding energy. Nature Communications 2015, 6.
  6. Zheng, J.; Sheng, W.; Zhuang, Z.; Xu, B.; Yan, Y. Universal dependence of hydrogen oxidation and evolution reaction activity of platinum-group metals on pH and hydrogen binding energy. Science Advances 2016, 2.
  7. Zhuang, Z.; Giles, S. A.; Zheng, J.; Jenness, G. R.; Caratzoulas, S.; Vlachos, D. G.; Yan, Y. Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte. Nature Communications 2016, 7.
  8. Gao, M.; Sheng, W.; Zhuang, Z.; Fang, Q.; Gu, S.; Jiang, J.; Yan, Y. Efficient Water Oxidation Using Nanostructured alpha-Nickel-Hydroxide as an Electrocatalyst. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014, 136, 7077-7084.
  9. Wang, T.; Shi, L.; Wang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Setzler, B. P.; Rojas-Carbonell, S.; Yan, Y. High-Performance Hydroxide Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells through Optimization of Relative Humidity, Backpressure and Catalyst Selection. Journal of the Electrochemical Society 2019, 166, F3305-F3310.
  10. Guan, X.; Li, H.; Ma, Y.; Xue, M.; Fang, Q.; Yan, Y.; Valtchev, V.; Qiu, S. Chemically stable polyarylether-based covalent organic frameworks. Nat Chem 2019, 11, 587-594.


  1. Extended two dimensional metal nanotubes and nanowires useful as fuel cell catalysts and fuel cells containing the same (9,680,160): S. Alia, 2017
  2. Multiple-membrane multiple-electrolyte redox flow battery design (9,640,826): S. Gu, K. Gong, 2017
  3. Electrolysis device for chlorine production (9,273,405): Y. Zhao, 2016
  4. Highly basic ionomers and membranes and anion/hydroxide exchange fuel cells comprising the ionomers and membranes (9,263,757): S. Gu, R. Cai, 2016
  5. Polymer-zeolite nanocomposite membranes for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (8,324,415): B. Holmberg, X. Wang, 2012
  6. Carbon based electrocatalysts for fuel cells (8,247,136): X. Wang, W. Li, M. Waje, Z. Chen, W. Goddard, W.Q. Deng, 2012
  7. High aluminum zeolite coatings on corrodible metal surfaces (7,179,547): D. Beving, 2007
  8. Silica zeolite low-k dielectric thin films and methods for their production (6,573,131): H. Wang, Z. Wang, 2003
  9. Metal surfaces coated with molecular sieve for corrosion resistance (6,521,198): X. Cheng, Z. Wang, 2003
  10. Hydrophilic zeolite coating (6,500,490): , 2002


For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.

  1. 2019 Fellow of the Electrochemical Society
  2. 2019 Braskem Award for Materials Science and Engineering, American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  3. 2019 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
  4. 2018 Energy Technology Division Research Award, The Electrochemical Society
  5. 2016 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  6. 2011 Distinguished Engineering Professor, University of Delaware
  7. 2010 Donald Breck Award, International Zeolite Association
  8. 2010 Presidential Chair, University of California
  9. 2008 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  10. 2006 University Scholar (inaugural), University of California Riverside

Research Areas

Electrochemical energy engineering; Energy conversion and storage; fuel cells; electrolyzers; flow batteries; electrochemistry; electrocatalysis; polymer electrolytes; electrochemical interfaces; zeolites and covalent organic frameworks.

Office: 377 ISE
Phone: 302-831-2552

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