Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Zhifei Yan

Zhifei Yan

Main Content

  • Chemistry Graduate Student (Mallouk)
221 South Frear Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 777-6426

Research Interests

Understanding ionic transport and water dissociation kinetics in bipolar membranes

Mentor

Tom Mallouk

Research Summary

Bipolar membranes are composed of a conventional anion exchange layer (AEL) and a cation exchange layer (CEL), with water dissociation catalysts deposited between the two layers. Under reverse bias conditions, the current is carried by water dissociation products H+ and OH-, which are sustainably produced, avoiding the problem of electrolyte polarization. By combining electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and numerical simulations, I aim to understand the role of the electric field and catalyst in enhancing the water dissociation reaction in bipolar membranes. My project also aims at understanding the extent of product cross-over in membrane-based electrolysis systems.