Dr Shangfeng Du BEng, PhD

Dr Shangfeng Du

School of Chemical Engineering
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Shangfeng Du is Senior Lecturer leading research activities in low temperature fuel cells and electrolysers. His research interests lie in electrochemical engineering study of materials, components and devices. Research is also carried on the characterisation of adhesion and aggregation of nanoparticles for health and energy applications. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Scientific Reports. He has authored and co-authored more than 60 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 (PML).

In 2007, he joined Birmingham as a Marie Curie Research Fellow starting his research in fuel cells, and was awarded Science City Research Fellowship from SCRA in 2009. He was appointed as a lecturer in 2015 to build and lead the Low Temperature Fuel Cell and Electrolyser Group.


Teaching programmes

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

Postgraduate supervision

As Principal Supervisor

Current Members

  • Li Dai (Visiting Professor)
  • Yichang Yan (PhD)
  • Liang Xu (Visiting scholar)
  • Yang Li (PhD)
  • Elok Fidiani (PhD)
  • Sam Elderly (PhD)


  • Dr Huixin Zhang (Marie Curie Research Fellow 2017-2019, Associate professor at Hebei University of Technology)
  • Peter Mardle (PhD 2015-2019, Postdoc at Simon Fraser University)
  • Min Wang (Visiting PhD, 2017-2018)
  • Dr Shengming Liu (Visiting scholar 2017-2018, Associate Professor at Xihua University)
  • Yaxiang Lu, (PhD 2012-2015, Associate Professor at 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

  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
  • Low temperature water electrolysers
  • Liquid fuelled fuel cells
  • Microbial fuel cells (MFCs)
  • Zinc-air fuel cells/batteries

Research activities

  1. Catalyst and electrode design:
  • 1D nanostructures from PGM and non-PGM, carbonaceous materials and metal oxides
  • Ionic liquid modification of catalysts and electrodes
  • Electrode structure design, e.g. 3D ordered nanostructure, 1D nanostructure array electrodes
  1. Electrochemical engineering behaviour:
  • Quantification and separation of mass transport resistance within catalyst electrodes
  • Nanoparticle behaviour in electrodes, e.g. adhesion between ionomer, particle aggregation, surface adsorption, etc.
  1. Device and stack building:
  • Composite membrane design for low fuel crossover
  • Flow field plate design and surface coating
  • Stack design and building
  1. Electrochemical sensors:
  • Electrochemical fuel cell breathalysers
  • Microbial fuel cell sensors for water and wastewater monitoring

If you are interested in studying or working on any of above subject areas, please contact Dr. Shangfeng Du on the contact details above.


Up to date Google Scholar

Selected publications in recent 5 years

P. Mardle, G. Thirunavukkarasu, S. Guan, Y.L. Chiu, S.F. Du. Comparative study of PtNi nanowire array electrodes toward oxygen reduction reaction by half-cell measurement and PEMFC test. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020, 12(38), 42832–42841.

H.X. Zhang, B.W. Xia, P.P. Wang, Y. Wang, Z.D. Li, Y.C. Wang, L. Feng, X.N. Li, S.F. Du. From waste to waste treatment: Mesoporous magnetic NiFe2O4/ZnCuCr-layered double hydroxide composite for wastewater treatment. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 2020, 819, 153053.

S. Sui, H.X. Zhang, S.F. Du. Nanoporous materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications. Chapter 13 in Nanoporous Materials for Molecule Separation and Conversion, Ed. J Liu and F. Ding. Elsevier 2020, page 441-476.

E. Fidiani, G. Thirunavukkarasu, Y. Li, Y.L. Chiu, S.F. Du. Ultrathin AgPt Alloy Nanorods as Low-cost Oxygen Reduction Reaction Electrocatalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2020, 8, 11874-11883

P. Mardle, X.C. Ji, J. Wu, S.L. Guan, H.S. Dong, S.F. Du. Thin film electrodes from Pt nanorods supported on aligned N-CNTs for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2020, 260, 118031.

M. Wang, H.X. Zhang, G. Thirunavukkarasu, I. Salam, J.R. Varcoe, P. Mardle, X.Y. Li, S.C. Mu, S.F. Du. Ionic Liquid-Modified Microporous ZnCoNC-Based Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. ACS Energy Letters 2019, 4(9), 2104-2110.

R. Salimi, A.A.S. Alvani, B.T. Mei, N. Naseri, S.F. Du, G. Mul. Ag-Functionalized CuWO4/WO3 nanocomposites for solar water splitting. New journal of chemistry 2019, 43(5), 2196-2203

M. Khzouz, E.I. Gkanas, S.F. Du, J. Wood. Catalytic performance of Ni-Cu/Al2O3 for effective syngas production by methanol steam reforming. Fuel 2018, 232, 672-683

S. Sui, Z.X. Wei, K.H. Su, A. He, X.Y. Wang, Y.H. Su, X Hou, S. Raffet, S.F. Du. Pt nanowire growth induced by Pt nanoparticles in application of the cathodes for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2018, 43(43), 20041-20049

P. Mardle, S.F. Du. Annealing behaviour of Pt and PtNi nanowires for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Materials 2018, 11 (8), 1473.

H. Sameie, A.A.S. Alvani, N. Naseri, S.F. Du, F. Rosei. First-principles study on ZnV2O6 and Zn2V2O7: Two new photoanode candidates for photoelectrochemical water oxidation. Ceramics International 2018, 44 (6), 6607-6613.

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 2018, 279, 99-107.

P. Mardle, O. Fernihough, S.F. Du. Evaluation of the scaffolding effect of Pt nanowires supported on reduced graphene oxide in PEMFC electrodes. Coatings 2018, 8 (2), 48.

S.F. Du, C. Koenigsmann, S.H. Sun. One-Dimensional Nanostructures for PEM Fuel Cell Applications (Book). Elsevier Oxford, 2017, ISBN: 978-1811112-3.

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 2017, 120, 64-73.

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 2017, 42, 2338–2348.

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 2017, 239, 1231-1236.

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 2016, 199, 292-314.

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 2016, 96, 80-95.

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 2016, 187, 108-114.

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 2016, 41, 7622-7630.

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