Dr Shangfeng Du BEng, PhD

Dr Shangfeng Du

School of Chemical Engineering

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Shangfeng Du is Lecturer in Chemical Engineering and Leader of Low Temperature Fuel Cell Group in the Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research (CFCHR) at the University of Birmingham.

 His research interests lie in the design and development of catalyst electrodes, single cells, stacks and applications of low temperature fuel cells, including both hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and fuel cells with liquid fuel such as methanol, ethanol and formic acid. Research is also carried on the characterisation of nanoparticles for both energy and health applications.

 He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Scientific Reports, and EPSRC Associate Peer Review College. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 journal papers, reviews and book chapters, with several keynote and invited lectures delivered at major international conferences.


  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, 2005
  • BEng in Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 1999


Shangfeng Du received his BEng in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 1999. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China in 2005. After that, he moved to Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Germany, working in Power Metallurgy Laboratory.

In 2007, he joined the Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research in Birmingham, as a Marie Curie Fellow. Collaborating with Prof Kevin Kendall FRS (retired in 2011), he started his fuel cell research with a focus on the behaviour of nanoparticles. In 2009, he was awarded an independent research fellowship from the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) through AWM and HEFCE Strategic Development Fund to provide research under Energy Futures theme. In Sep 2015, he was appointed as a lecturer to build and lead the Low Temperature Fuel Cell Group in the Centre.


Teaching programmes

  • Advanced Electrochemical Applications (Leader)
  • Design Project
  • Introduction to Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Technologies
  • Materials for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
  • Techniques for Fuel Cell Characterisation

Postgraduate supervision

As leading supervisor:

Current Members


  • Min Wang, 2017-2018, visiting PhD student from Wuhan University of Technology, China
  • Yaxiang Lu, 2012-2015, Ph.D. Current Position: Associate Professor at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Self-funded candidates and candidates with external funds are welcome to contact. UK/EU rate funding is also possible depending on the quality of the applicant.


Research themes

  1. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
  2. Direct liquid fuel cells, e.g. methanol, ethanol, formic acid.
  3. Bifunctional air electrodes for electrochemical applications
  4. Nanoparticle characterisation for energy and health applications

 Research activity

  1. Catalyst electrodes for electrochemical devices, e.g. fuel cells and metal-air batteries, including:
  • 1D nanostructures from precious metals and alloys, metal oxides, MOF-based and carbonaceous materials.
  • Ionic liquid modification of catalysts and electrodes
  • Surface and interface processing and characterisation.
  • Fabrication methods, e.g. GDE, CCM, decal, in-situ growing, spray and screen printing, etc.
  • Diagnosis and degradation analysis.
  1. Nanostructure characterisation for energy and health applications:
  • Adhesion and aggregation of nanoparticles in electrodes, e.g. between ionomer, catalysts, support and water by simulation and experimental study.
  • Electrolyte/electrode interface.
  • Ionic liquids with electrolyte and catalyst nanostructures.
  1. Flow field plate design and surface coating, including:
  • Compact and light flow field plate from SS and Al alloy.
  • Surface coating, e.g. by chemical and electrochemical deposition, PVD methods.
  • Mesh design by simulation and experiment.
  1. PEMFC stack design and building for UAV and portable applications, e.g. power control, water and thermal management units.
  2. DMFC stack and power system design, e.g. power control, water recycling, gas/liquid separation, cold starts, etc.

Other activities

STEM Ambassador (volunteer), UK

Member, EPSRC Associate Peer Review College, UK

Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group)


Up to date Google Scholar

Selected recent publications

Y. X. Lu, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, S. F. Du, Evolution of gas diffusion layer structures for aligned Pt nanowire electrodes in PEMFC applications. Electrochimica Acta 279, 99-107 (2018)

S. F. Du, C. Koenigsmann, S. H. Sun, One-Dimensional Nanostructures for PEM Fuel Cell Applications. Elsevier Oxford, 2017, ISBN: 978-1811112-3. Doi: 10.1016/C2016-0-00341-8

M. Worall, T. Elmer, S. Riffat, S. Y. Wu, S. F. Du, An experimental investigation of a micro-tubular SOFC membrane-separated liquid desiccant dehumidification and cooling tri-generation system. Applied Thermal Engineering 120, 64-73 (2017).

K. J. Lin, X. Y. Li, H. S. Dong, S. F. Du, Y. X. Lu, X. C. Ji, D. D. Gu, Surface modification of 316 stainless steel with platinum for the application of bipolar plates in high performance proton exchange membrane fuel cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 42, 2338–2348 (2017).

C. J. Dong, X. Liu, X. C. Xiao, S. F. Du, Y. D. Wang, Monodisperse ZnFe2O4 nanospheres synthesized by a nonaqueous route for a highly slective low-ppm-level toluene gas sensor. Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical 239, 1231-1236 (2017).

Y. X. Lu, S. F. Du, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, One-dimensional nanostructured electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells-A review. Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 199, 292-314 (2016).

L. Xing, S. F. Du, R. Chen, M. Mamlouk, K. Scott, Anode partial flooding modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Model development and validation. Energy 96, 80-95 (2016).

Y. X. Lu, S. F. Du, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, Three-dimensional catalyst electrodes based on PtPd nanodendrites for oxygen reduction reaction in PEFC applications. Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 187, 108-114 (2016).

K. J. Lin, Y. X. Lu, S. F. Du, X. Y. Li, H. S. Dong, The effect of active screen plasma treatment conditions on the growth and performance of Pt nanowire catalyst layer in DMFCs. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 41, 7622-7630 (2016).

Y. Wang, H. T. Guan, S. F. Du, Y. D. Wang, A facile hydrothermal synthesis of MnO2 nanorod-reduced graphene oxide nanocomposites possessing excellent microwave absorption properties. RSC Advances 5, 88979-88988 (2015).

Y. X. Lu, S. F. Du, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, Temperature-controlled growth of single-crystal Pt nanowire arrays for high performance catalyst electrodes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 164, 389-395 (2015).

M. Afzal, R. Raza, S. F. Du, R. B. Lima, B. Zhu, Synthesis of Ba0.3Ca0.7Co0.8Fe0.2O3-d composite material as novel catalytic cathode for ceria-carbonate electrolyte fuel cells. Electrochimica Acta 178, 385-391 (2015).

S. F. Du, Y. X. Lu, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, PtPd nanowire arrays supported on reduced graphene oxide as advanced electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation. Carbon 79, 346-353 (2014).

S. F. Du, Y. X. Lu, S. K. Malladi, Q. Xu, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, A simple approach for PtNi-MWCNT hybrid nanostructures as high performance electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2, 692-698 (2014).

S. F. Du, K. J. Lin, S. K. Malladi, Y. X. Lu, S. H. Sun, Q. Xu, R. Steinberger-Wilckens, H. S. Dong, Plasma nitriding induced growth of Pt-nanowire arrays as high performance electrocatalysts for fuel cells. Scientific Reports 4, 6439 (2014).