Dr Eileen Yu
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7243
- Fax: +44(0)191 208 5292
- Personal Website: http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/eileen.yu/
Dr Eileen Hao Yu is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at Newcastle University. Her PhD study worked on the development of direct methanol alkaline fuel cells, which was considered a pioneering study in the area. After her PhD, she worked as a research fellow at Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Germany, before returned to Newcastle to take a prestigious EPSRC Research Fellowship (Life Science Interface) in 2006.
Dr Yu’s current research focuses on novel bioelectronics including biosensors; enzymatic biofuel cells and microbial fuel cells. She is a part of EPSRC Supergen Biological fuel cell consortium. She also involves in the research on alkaline polymer membrane fuel cells.
PhD (Chemical Engineering, Newcastle, 2003)
§ Fuel cells and Biological fuel cells,
§ Biosensors for healthcare devices, biocompatible materials
§ Protein modification, functionalisation and immobilisation
§ Electrochemical and bioelectrochemical catalysis
§ Fuel cell configuration and design
§ Wastewater treatment and remediation
§ Carbon capture and utilisation
§ CO2 electrochemical reduction and conversion
Selected grants awarded
2016-2020 EPSRC Low carbon fuel: Liquid Fuel and bioEnergy Supply from CO2 Reduction (Lifes-CO2R) (EP/N009746/1), £2m, PI.
2015-2016 UK-India UKIERI: Development of high performance carbon nanomaterials for enhancing the cathodic oxygen reduction and performance of anode in microbial fuel cells, PI
2014-2018 NERC Resource Recovery from Waste: Bioelectrochemical systems for resource recovery (metal and mineral recovery) from wastewater (NERC NE/K015788/1, NE/L01422X/1,), £1.2m, Co-PI
2010-2014 EPSRC Supergen Biological Fuel Cells (EPSRC EP/H019480/1), total £4m, CoI
2006-2009 EPSRC Research Fellowship (Life Science Interface), Grant EP/C535456/1, Development of Biofuel Cells for Implantable Devices, PIWork Experience
2016 Senior Lecture
School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials,
Newcastle University, UK
Research group:Bioelectrochemical engineering
School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials,
Newcastle University, UK
Research group:Bioelectrochemical engineering
2006-2009 EPSRC Research Fellow at the Life Science Interface
School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials,
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
2005 Research Fellow
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg, Germany.
ISE, SCI and ISMET
Honours and Awards
1st Prize in the Connections and Creativity competition, Challenge Engineering 2006, EPSRC
Enzymatic Biofuel Cells for Implantable Medical Devices
This project is sponsored by EPSRC. The aim of this project is to research and develop a biofuel cell system which provides power for implantable electrically operated devices, and obtain further understanding on enzymatic electrochemical reactions for glucose oxidation and oxygen reduction.
Biofuel cells offer specific advantages over other renewable energy conversion methods. These advantages are particularly attractive in the medical field where the developments in medical science leads to an increasing number of implantable devices, which need miniaturised, implantable and low-power sources to support their operation. Apart from this, biofuel cells have potential applications also on miniaturised electronic devices and environmental applications (such as wastewater treatment). To achieve an efficient power system, research will be carried out on bioelectrocatalysis, transport processes and system integration.
Microbial Fuel Cells
Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC’s) represent an emerging technology that could eventually become an important renewable energy source. Power in a microbial fuel cell is generated when bacteria donate electrons to an insoluble anode, these electrons travel through an external circuit, and then go onto reduce oxygen at a cathode, producing water. The circuit is completed by the migration of protons from the anode to the cathode through a proton exchange membrane. MFC’s are being developed for the treatment of domestic wastewater, as BOD biosensors, as power sources for remote devices, and for bioremediation applications.
An important limitation with respect to MFC development is in the use of precious metal catalysts, such as Pt, for oxygen reduction at the cathode. Biocathodes are a suitable alternative to these abiotic catalysts as they are both cheap and sustainable. Through microbial metabolism, they work by oxidising spent mediators or directly accepting electrons from plain electrodes. My own research is currently focused on the use of Manganese Oxidising Bacteria and Iron Oxidising Bacteria for MFC biocathodes.
Poor kinetics of oxygen reduction at neutral pH and low temperatures hinder the improvement of MFC performance. Research has been carried out intensively on MFC anodes, but MFC cathode catalysts have not been as thoroughly studied. Pt is the most commonly used catalyst on the cathode, but its high cost prohibits its use for commercial MFC applications. Further development and commercialization of MFC make it essential that we have a better understanding of the performance of non-Pt cathode catalysts. Alternatives to Pt for oxygen reduction under conditions of neutral pH media have not been well explored. We therefore conducted electrochemical half cell studies, and the performance of MFCs with various non-Pt catalysts for oxygen reduction. It is shown that MFC power output was improved with non-Pt cathodes compared to that achieved with a commercially available Pt catalyst.
Electrochemical biosensor for Non-estified fatty acid (NEFA)
With an increase in people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D), there is a high demand in biosensors that can monitor not only the blood glucose levels but also the other biomarkers associated with T2D. The metabolism biomarkers are essential in understanding the cause of diabetes at the early stage. Diets rich in saturated fats cause obesity and insulin resistance, and increase levels of circulating NEFAs. Assessment of NEFA may be a useful addition to routine diabetes management. NEFA, like glucose can reflect acute change of an individual’s energy status. Glucose and NEFA are biomarkers of immediate energy metabolism.
The specific research interest of this project is to develop an electrochemical biosensor that will detect changes in blood NEFA concentrations for patients with T2D, for the future development of personalised intervention programmes for the treatment and management of the disease.
Nanomaterials for Bioelectronic Sensors
The use of bioelectronics, especially biosensors, has played a major role in transmitting physical events into direct signals that represents what happens when a material is under investigation. For biosensor results to be accurate, reliable and also for its commercial viability, their sensitivity and transducing property needs to be improved. This also determines their applications in biomedical, environmental, pharmaceutical and quality control purposes. This research aims to develop gold based nanoparticles for improving the sensitivity and stability of biosensors and for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, tissue repair, hyperthermia and magnetic resonance imaging.
Resource Recovery from Waste using Bioelectrochemical Systems
Production and recovery of energy and industrial materials from novel biological sources reduces our dependency on the Earth's finite mineral petrochemical resources and helps the UK economy to become a low carbon economy. Recovering energy and valuable resources such as metals from waste materials is an attractive but challenging prospect. The valuable materials are usually present in wastes at very low levels and present as a highly complex mixture. This makes it very difficult to concentrate and purify them in an economically sustainable manner.
In recent years there have been exciting advances in our understanding of ways in which microorganisms can extract the energy locked up in the organic compounds found in wastewater and in the process generate electricity by MFCs. In theory MFC can be configured such that, rather than conversion of oxygen to water at the cathode they could convert metal ions to metals or drive the synthesis of valuable chemicals. It is our aim to develop such systems that use energy harvested from wastewater to recover metals from metal-containing waste streams and for the synthesis of valuable chemicals, ultimately from CO2.
This project will bring together experts from academia and industry to devise ways in which this can be achieved and will form the foundation of a research programme where scientists working on fundamental research and those with the skills to translate laboratory science to industrial processes will work together to develop sustainable processes for the production of valuable resources from waste.
Convert Carbon Dioxide into Valuable Chemicals
The conventional Carbon capture and storage (CCS) in some way provides effective means for emission reductions but high investment costs, possibilities for leakage and increased public resistance and energy costs demanding for alternative methods.
The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels, chemical feedstock and valuable chemicals has attracted growing interest in CO2 capture and utilisation (CCU) in the past several years. The electrochemical processes offer good reaction selectivity and reduced cost because of possibility of direct control of electrode surface free energy through electrode potential. However, due to extreme stableness of CO2 molecule, the overpotential for CO2 electrochemical reduction is high. The energy required for the process could be intensive, current efficiency could be low and the yield of the desired product could be low.
From our research on Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), it is clear that MFC can largely reduce the energy demand in the wastewater treatment process and clean the organic carbon simultaneously.
The ultimate goal is to develop low cost and low energy consumption bioelectrochemical system (BES) to convert CO2 into high valued products, such as liquid fuels, chemicals, amino acids or alkenes. For this project, the aim is to conduct preliminary study on converting CO2 into small organic molecules, such as methanol and formic acid by electrochemical synthesis.
Eileen Yu's profile can be viewed at Google Scholar
CME2030 Chemical Engineering Lab 1
CME8044 Fuel Cell Systems
CME8118 Stability and Sustainability of Materials
SPG8007 Renewable Energy: Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology
- Lim SS, Yu EH, Daud WRW, Kim BH, Scott K. Bioanode as a limiting factor to biocathode performance in microbial electrolysis cells. Bioresource Technology 2017, 238, 313-324.
- Khan MD, Khan N, Sultana S, Joshi R, Ahmed S, Yu E, Scott K, Ahmad A, Khan MZ. Bioelectrochemical conversion of waste to energy using microbial fuel cell technology. Process Biochemistry 2017, (ePub ahead of print).
- Milner EM, Scott K, Head IM, Curtis T, Yu EH. Evaluation of porous carbon felt as an aerobic biocathode support in terms of hydrogen peroxide. Journal of Power Sources 2017, Epub ahead of print.
- Sadhukhan J, Lloyd JR, Scott K, Premier GC, Yu EH, Curtis T, Head IM. A critical review of integration analysis of microbial electrosynthesis (MES) systems with waste biorefineries for the production of biofuel and chemical from reuse of CO2. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2016, 56, 116-132.
- Ng KS, Head I, Premier GC, Scott K, Yu E, Lloyd J, Sadhukhan J. A multilevel sustainability analysis of zinc recovery from wastes. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 2016, 113, 88-105.
- Xu W, Lia D, Maoa X, Yu E, Scott K, Zhang E, Wang D. Anion exchange polymer coated graphite granule electrodes for improving the performance of anodes in unbuffered microbial fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 330, 211-218.
- Burkitt R, Whiffen TR, Yu EH. Iron Phthalocyanine and MnOx composite catalysts for Microbial Fuel Cell applications. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2016, 181, 279-288.
- Wang X, Zhang ER, Yu EH, Scott K. Low Cost Materials for the Air Cathodes in Single-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: A Mini Review. In: 3RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APPLIED ENGINEERING. 2016, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.
- Milner EM, Popescu D, Curtis T, Head IM, Scott K, Yu EH. Microbial fuel cells with highly active aerobic biocathodes. Journal of Power Sources 2016, 324, 8-16.
- Güven G, Şahin S, Güven A, Yu EH. Power Harvesting from Human Serum in Buckypaper-Based Enzymatic Biofuel Cell. Frontiers in Energy Research 2016, 4, 4.
- Wang X, Wang Y, Goldings BT, Yu EH, Scott K. Preparation of a Chemically Stable Polysulfone-based Anion Exchange Membrane Using DABCO as the Quaternization Agent. In: 3RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APPLIED ENGINEERING. 2016, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.
- Yu EH. Resource recovery with microbial electrochemical systems. In: Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications. Elsevier Inc, 2016, pp.321-339.
- Scott K, Yu EH. Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications. Elsevier Inc, 2015.
- Liu XT, Yu EH, Scott K. Preparation and evaluation of a highly stable palladium yttrium platinum core-shell-shell structure catalyst for oxygen reduction reactions. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2015, 162, 593-601.
- Hussain AT, Catt M, Yu EH. Development of electrochemical non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) biosensor for patient management of Type 2 diabetes. In: Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2014. 2014, Liverpool, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Kang J, Hussain AT, Catt M, Trenell M, Haggett B, Yu EH. Electrochemical detection of non-esterified fatty acid by layer-by-layer assembled enzyme electrodes. Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical 2014, 190, 535-541.
- Milner E, Scott K, Head I, Curtis T, Yu E. Electrochemical Investigation of Aerobic Biocathodes at Different Poised Potentials: Evidence for Mediated Extracellular Electron Transfer. In: 10th European Symposium on Electrochemical Engineering. 2014, Sardinia, Italy.
- Sahin S, Wongnate T, Chaiyen P, Yu EH. Glucose Oxidation Using Oxygen Resistant Pyranose-2-Oxidase for Biofuel Cell Applications. In: 10th European Symposium on Electrochemical Engineering. 2014, Chia, ITALY: AIDIC Servizi.
- Li L, Scott K, Yu EH. A direct glucose alkaline fuel cell using MnO2–carbon nanocomposite supported gold catalyst for anode glucose oxidation. Journal of Power Sources 2013, 221, 1-5.
- Wang X, Yu EH, Horsfall J, Scott K. Performance of the Direct Methanol Carbonate Fuel Cell Using Anion Exchange Materials and Non-Noble Metal Cathode Catalyst. Fuel Cells 2013, 13(5), 817-821.
- Yu EH, Burkitt R, Wang X, Scott K. Application of anion exchange ionomer for oxygen reduction catalysts in microbial fuel cells. Electrochemistry Communications 2012, 21, 30-35.
- Yu EH, Wang X, Krewer U, Li L, Scott K. Direct oxidation alkaline fuel cells: from materials to systems. Energy & Environmental Science 2012, 5(2), 5668-5680.
- Wang X, Li MQ, Golding BT, Sadeghi M, Cao Y, Yu EH, Scott K. A polytetrafluoroethylene-quaternary 1,4-diazabicyclo-[2.2.2]-octane polysulfone composite membrane for alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2011, 32(16), 10022-10026.
- Yu EH, Prodanovic R, Guven G, Ostafe R, Schwaneberg U. Electrochemical Oxidation of Glucose Using Mutant Glucose Oxidase from Directed Protein Evolution for Biosensor and Biofuel Cell Applications. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2011, 165(7-8), 1448-1457.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Yu E, Katuri KP, Head IM, Curtis TP, Scott K. Evaluation of hydrolysis and fermentation rates in microbial fuel cells. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2011, 90(2), 789-798.
- Yu EH, Scott K. Enzymatic Biofuel Cells—Fabrication of Enzyme Electrodes. Energies 2010, 3(1), 23-42.
- Yu EH, Himuro Y, Takai M, Ishihara K. Feasibility Study of Introducing Redox Property by Modification of PMBN Polymer for Biofuel Cell Applications. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2010, 160(4), 1094-1101.
- Yu EH, Krewer U, Scott K. Principles and Materials Aspects of Direct Alkaline Alcohol Fuel Cells. Energies 2010, 3(8), 1499-1528.
- Yu EH, Cheng S, Logan BE, Scott K. Electrochemical reduction of oxygen with iron phthalocyanine in neutral media. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 2009, 39(5), 705-711.
- Scott K, Yu E, Vlachogiannopoulos G, Shivare M, Duteanu N. Performance of a direct methanol alkaline membrane fuel cell. Journal of Power Sources 2008, 175(1), 452-457.
- Duteanu N, Vlachogiannopoulos G, Shivhare MR, Yu EH, Scott K. A parametric study of a platinum ruthenium anode in a direct borohydride fuel cell. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 2007, 37(9), 1085-1091.
- Yu EH, Sundmacher K. Enzyme Electrodes for Glucose Oxidation Prepared by Electropolymerisation of Pyrrole. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2007, 85(5), 489-493.
- Yu EH, Cheng S, Scott K, Logan B. Microbial fuel cell performance with non-Pt cathode catalysts. Journal of Power Sources 2007, 171(2), 275-281.
- Yu EH, Scott K, Reeve RW. Application of sodium conducting membranes in direct methanol alkaline fuel cells. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 2006, 36(1), 25-32.
- Yu EH, Scott K. Direct methanol alkaline fuel cells with catalysed anion exchange membrane electrodes. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 2005, 35(1), 91-96.
- Yu EH, Scott K, Reeve RW, Yang L, Allen RG. Characterisation of platinised Ti mesh electrodes using electrochemical methods: Methanol oxidation in sodium hydroxide solutions. Electrochimica Acta 2004, 49(15), 2443-2452.
- Yu EH, Scott K. Development of direct methanol alkaline fuel cells using anion exchange membranes. Journal of Power Sources 2004, 137(2), 248-256.
- Yu EH, Scott K. Direct methanol alkaline fuel cell with catalysed metal mesh anodes. Electrochemistry Communications 2004, 6(4), 361-365.
- Yu EH, Scott K, Reeve RW. Electrochemical Reduction of Oxygen on Carbon Supported Pt and Pt/Ru Fuel Cell Electrodes in Alkaline Solutions. Fuel Cells 2004, 3(4), 169-176.
- Yu EH, Scott K, Reeve RW. A study of the anodic oxidation of methanol on Pt in alkaline solutions. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 2003, 547(1), 17-24.