Lab Affiliation(s):
Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab
Professor Ahmed F. Ghoniem
Areas of Expertise:
  • Transport phenomena
  • Solid state electrochemistry
  • Reaction kinetics
Expected date of graduation:
January 31, 2017

Xiaoyu Wu

  • PhD


  • Mechanical Engineering

Lab Affiliation(s): 

Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab


Professor Ahmed F. Ghoniem

Top 3 Areas of Expertise: 

Transport phenomena
Solid state electrochemistry
Reaction kinetics

Personal Statement: 

I (XiaoYu Wu 吴晓雨) received his Bachelor and Master degrees in Engineering in Zhejiang University, China, and started his PhD studies at Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT in 2012. My supervisor is Professor Ahmed F. Ghoniem.

My researches focus on the application of oxides and water for clean energy technologies. Oxides can replay precious metal as catalysts for hydrocarbon oxidation (link). They can also be fabricated into oxygen permeating membranes for air separation and hydrogen production from water (link). When added into liquids, the oxides can change the heat transfer characteristics such that heat transfer can be improved or prohibited (link). 

My ultimate goal for all my potential researches is to utilize the fundamental understanding in science to guide and optimize the operation in engineering. Therefore, in the future, I foresee myself collaborating closely with scientists and industrial partners to make the findings in my own laboratory into reality.

Expected date of graduation: 

January 31, 2017


Thesis Title: 

Syngas Production via Water and Carbon Dioxide Thermolysis on MIEC Membranes

Thesis Abstract: 

Carbon dioxide capture and reuse is an effective way to continue using cheap and plentiful fossil fuels while mitigating their environmental impact. While enhanced oil recovery can be used at a large scale, a promising reuse technique is to reduce or “split/partially dissociate” the combustion products, i.e. the water/carbon dioxide mixture to produce syngas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide). Thermolysis of both gases can be achieved at elevated temperatures, using some form of “waste” heat or solar heat.

Oxygen permeable mixed ionic-electronic conducting (MIEC) membranes have been used for oxygen separation as well as water splitting, and significant flux enhancement has been measured under reactive sweep flow conditions. However, the reaction mechanisms on the membrane surfaces are not yet quantified. Moreover, CO2 and H2O+CO2 thermolysis have not been examined on the solid or gas phase.

In this thesis, a subset of perovskite membranes, e.g. La0.9Ca0.1FeO3-δ will be used because of their stability and reasonable oxygen flux. Experiments will be conducted to measure the conversion rate and its dependence on the oxygen permeation flux, and to examine the overall dissociation rate, surface kinetics as well as the competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous reaction pathways. Effects of operating parameters, temperature, pressure, flow rate and gas concentrations will be investigated. Material stability under reactive conditions will be analyzed by DFT modeling and characterization techniques such as SEM, XRD and AES. This new technique of syngas production from combustion products will be compared with other techniques, such as electrolysis and photoelectrolysis, on the basis of overall performances, energy efficiency and economic factors.

Top 5 Awards and honors (name of award, date received): 

Best paper initiative in AIChE Journal, 2016
NSF Travel Support Award, 2016
Golden Beaver Award - Institute award for excellence in leadership, MIT, 2016
Best Presentation Award in the 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting, 2015
MISTI-MITEI fellow for internship in Germany, 2015

5 Recent Papers: 

X.Y. Wu, M. Uddi, A.F. Ghoniem, (2016), “Enhancing co-production of H2 and syngas via water splitting and POM on surface-modified oxygen permeable membranes”, AIChE Journal, accepted, (invited submission in AIChE Journal “Best paper” initiative

X.Y. Wu, L. Chang, M. Uddi, P. Kirchen, A.F. Ghoniem, (2016), “Toward enhanced hydrogen generation from water using oxygen permeating LCF membranes”, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 10093-10107 

D. Huang, X. Y. Wu, Z. Wu, H. T. Zhu, W. Li, B. Sunden, (2015), “Experimental Studies on Heat Transfer of Nanofluids in a Vertical tube at Supercritical Pressures“,International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 63, 54-61

W. Li, X.Y. Wu, Z. Luo, R.L. Webb, (2011), “Falling Water Film Evaporation on Newly-Designed Enhanced Tube Bundles”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 54 (13-14), 2990-2997  

W. Li, X.Y. Wu, Z. Luo, S.C. Yao, J.L. Xu, (2011), “Heat Transfer Characteristics of Falling Film Evaporation on Horizontal Tube Arrays”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 54 (9-10), 1986-1993

Contact Information:
77 Mass Ave
Rm 3-339N