Associate Professor & Associate Department Head
Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology (2006)
- Unconventional electrocatalyst supports
- Non-noble metal oxygen reduction catalysts
- Anode catalysts for direct borohydride fuel cells
- Electrochemical conversion of atmospheric CO2
- Room temperature carbonate fuel cell
Current Research Group
|Ph.D. Students||M.S. Student||Undergraduate Students|
Dr. Mustain’s electrochemistry research group at the University of Connecticut is interested in the development of novel electrocatalyst materials for energy conversion and storage. Several extramurally funded projects are underway in this area, including the design and characterization of nanostructured carbon and non-carbon supports for oxygen reduction and hydrogen evolution catalysts, borohydride oxidation catalysts, and high capacity anodes for Li-ion batteries. In addition, the Mustain group recently invented the first electrochemical catalyst that is able to directly convert CO2 and O2 mixtures to carbonate anions under fully humidified conditions, which has allowed for the development of two new electrochemical reactors: (1) room temperature carbonate fuel cells; and (2) electrochemical conversion reactors that are able to convert methane to syngas at room temperature with almost no energy cost. In each system, the Mustain group takes a bottom-up approach, designing both the surface chemistry and microstructure of the active material and support to yield high activity, high stability electrodes. This work has recently yielded a slough of publications as well as significant interest from both industry and federal agencies. Recent sources of federal funding for the above work includes the US Department of Energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.
|2008-2013||Assistant Professor, Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, UConn|
|2006-2008||Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology|
Awards & Honors
|2009||Illinois Institute of Technology Young Alumni Award|
|2007||Invited Alumni Speaker for Collens Scholarship Program Benefit Dinner|
|2004||Illinois Institute of Technology Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year Award|
|2004||Hamid Arastoopour Excellence in Education Award|
|2002||Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate Research Fellowship|
|1998 – 2002||Illinois Institute of Technology Heald Scholar|
J.A. Vega, S. Shrestha, M. Ignatowich and W.E. Mustain, “Carbonate Selective Ca2Ru2O7-y Pyrochlore Enabling Room Temperature Carbonate Fuel Cells – Part I. Synthesis and Physical Characterization”, Journal of Electrochemical Society In Press, DOI: 10.1149/2.028201jes (2011).
J.A. Vega, N.S. Spinner, M. Catanese and W.E. Mustain, “Carbonate Selective Ca2Ru2O7-y Pyrochlore Enabling Room Temperature Carbonate Fuel Cells – Part II. Verification of Carbonate Cycle and Electrochemical Performance”, Journal of Electrochemical Society In Press, DOI: 10.1149/2.029201jes (2011).
J.A. Vega, S. Smith and W.E. Mustain, “Hydrogen and Methanol Oxidation Reaction in Hydroxide and Carbonate Alkaline Media”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 158 (2011) B349-B354.
N.S. Spinner and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of Nickel Oxide Synthesis Conditions on its Physical Properties and Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Methanol”, Electrochimica Acta 56 (2011) 5656-5666.
J.A. Vega, S. Smith and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of Carbonate on Oxygen Reduction, Hydrogen Oxidation and Anion Exchange Membrane Chemical Stability”, ECS Transactions 33 (2010) 1735-1749.
J.A. Vega, S. Smith, C. Chartier and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of Carbonate on Anion Exchange Membrane Conductivity and Hydrogen Oxidation for AEMFCs”, ECS Transactions 28 (2010) 103-109.
J.A. Vega, C. Chartier and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of hydroxide and carbonate alkaline media on anion exchange membranes”, Journal of Power Sources 195 (2010) 7176-7180.
J.A. Vega and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of CO2, HCO3− and CO3−2 on oxygen reduction in anion exchange membrane fuel cells”, Electrochimica Acta 55 (2010) 1638-1644.
J. Vega, C. Chartier, S. Smith and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of carbonate on oxygen reduction, hydrogen oxidation and anion exchange membrane chemical stability”, ECS Trans., 33 (2010) 1735.
J.A. Vega, C. Chartier, S. Smith and W.E. Mustain, “Effect of Carbonate on Anion Exchange Membrane Conductivity and Hydrogen Oxidation for AEMFCs”, ECS Transactions, 28 (2010) 103.
S. Shrestha and W.E. Mustain, “Properties of Nitrogen-Functionalized Ordered Mesoporous Carbon Prepared Using Polypyrrole Precursor”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 157 (2010) B1665.
S. Shrestha and W.E. Mustain, “Electrochemical Studies of N-Functionalized Mesoporous Carbon”, ECS Trans., 28 (23), 27-37 (2010).
Y. Liu and W.E. Mustain, “Structural and Electrochemical Studies of Pt Clusters Supported on High Surface Area Tungsten Carbide for Oxygen Reduction”, ACS Catalysis, 1 (2011) 212