Solar Energy & Advanced Materials Research Group


Chao Wang


Chao Wang obtained his BSc and MSc degree from the School of Materials Science in Northwestern Polytechnical University on the programme of photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. He is now a PhD student in prof. Junwang Tang's group at the Department of Chemical Engineering of UCL, focusing his research on photocatalytic methane conversion using polymeric catalysts.

Research project

Title: Photocatalytic Methane Conversion to High Value Chemicals

Methane (CH4), abundantly explored both underground and in the seabed, can be used as a preliminary fuel for heating and potentially as a carbon source for chemicals manufacturing. However, the inert chemical properties of CH4, including low polarizability, low electron and proton affinity and high C-H bond energy (434 kJ mol-1), make its economic conversion extremely challenging. Therefore, a cost effective and low carbon process that operates at mild conditions is highly preferred for CH4 activation. Photocatalysis can utilize sustainable solar energy to drive chemical reactions which are thermodynamically non-spontaneous. Polymeric photocatalysts, such as graphitic carbon nitride and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) will be prepared and decorated with proper co-catalysts to achieve highly selective methane conversion to value-added chemicals. The conversion pathway and mechanism will also be studied by spectroscopies, chromatography and other measurements.


BSc in Composite Materials and Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, 2016

MSc in Materials Science, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, 2019