Advancing a Cleaner, Greener Future
The Feng Group at Duke is dedicated to addressing grand challenges in energy, climate, and environmental sustainability by working at the intersection of materials, electrochemical, and polymer science and engineering.
Our primary research areas include:
1. Active Adsorption and Applications in Climate, Environment, and Energy
2. High-throughput Discovery and Automated Optimization of Novel Energy Materials
3. Non-equilibrium Porous Materials and Their Applications in Adsorption & Catalysis
Our goal is to develop innovative strategies for capturing and utilizing CO2 directly from the air using renewable energy, constructing efficient catalysts with binuclear active sites, and converting CO2 into value-added fuels and products. This will help to advance sustainability, decarbonization, and clean energy.
Building upon our recently discovered mode of adsorption—mechanisorption—we aim to expand its applications and use this unique mechanism to drive continuous adsorption of carbon dioxide from low-concentration regions. Our focus is on developing electrochemical tools to create hierarchical sorbents and membranes for active and repeated gas pumping using renewable energy input.
We recently discovered the first fundamentally new mode of adsorption—(active) mechanisorption—since the observation of physisorption and chemisorption in the 1930s.
Autonomous Materials Discovery
The Feng Group is interested in accelerating materials discovery by developing advanced engineering solutions and collaborating with statistical and computational researchers. We aim to create optimization techniques and employ machine learning models to predict ideal conditions for high-performance adsorbents and catalysts, ultimately promoting active adsorption and sustainable catalysis.
We strive to achieve a sustainable carbon cycle by converting CO2 into valuable products like ethanol (EtOH) using hydrogenation or electroreduction. Our team is focused on discovering novel, efficient catalysts capable of high-yield EtOH production through CO2 reduction, using renewable energy resources. We seek to elucidate cooperative interactions among binding sites, reacting molecules, and surrounding environments to guide the generation of high-density and high-value fuels.
Join the Club
Duke: A model for climate- and sustainability-fluent change makers.
In 2024, Duke will be among the first universities to reach Carbon Neutrality: offset up to 82,000 tons/yr of CO2
Duke Climate Commitment: https://climate.duke.edu/
Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative (2020 Report): https://sustainability.duke.edu/sites/default/files/dcoi2020report.pdf
Climate Research Across Duke: https://stories.duke.edu/climate-research-across-duke
Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability: https://energy.duke.edu/
Duke's Materials Initiative: https://dmi.duke.edu/
Duke Forest: https://dukeforest.duke.edu/
Nicholas School of the Environment: https://nicholas.duke.edu/
Duke MEMS: https://mems.duke.edu/
Duke Chem: https://chem.duke.edu/
Our group aspires to draw inspiration from trees and other biological systems
in order to effectively capture carbon directly from the air,
emulating nature's efficient carbon sequestration processes.