The Gene and Linda Voiland School of

Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Hongfei Lin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Jean-Sabine McEwen

Research Focus: Catalyst Synthesis and Application; Catalytic Conversion of biomass; CO2 Reduction; Renewable Hydrogen Production; Fuel Cell Electrocatalysis; Advanced Functional Nanomaterials; Photocatalysis

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
Washington State University
105 Wegner Hall Stadium Way
P.O. Box 646515
Pullman, WA 99164-6515

Office: 109 Wegner Hall
Office Phone: 509-335-1341


Teng Li

Graduate Students

Aimee Mi Lu
Kan Tang
Xiaokun Yang
Xianghui Zhang


Dr. Lin’s career goal is to create a synergy between research and education and build a high-quality, internationally-recognized “Catalysis for Sustainability” research lab. The central theme of his research group is the use of the cross-disciplinary concepts of catalysis, reaction engineering, mass and heat transfer, process chemistry, and materials science to answer fundamental questions in production, transformation, and storage of sustainable energy and chemicals.

The educational program emphasizes the integration of research into teaching to promote critical thinking and active learning. Furthermore, Dr. Lin aims to disseminate the idea of “Sustainable Planet” to K-12 students and the general public, to cultivate a world competitive workforce to chemical industry, and to spur the creation of a domestic biorefinery industry that can dramatically reduce US dependence on fossil fuels.

Biographical Information

Dr. Lin received his B.E and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. He has been a postdoctoral fellow for two years in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, where his research was focused on developing advanced functional materials for catalysis and optoelectronics applications. He then worked in industry for three years conducting research on alternative energy including catalytic conversion of biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels, renewable hydrogen production, and catalytic transformation of natural gas to liquid fuels.

Dr. Lin’s current research activities are focused on coupling chemical processes with novel material systems for renewable energy and clean fuel production. In particular, the multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts are designed on a molecular level aiming to develop the highly efficient and cost-effective process of converting solid biomass to liquid transportation fuels or renewable chemicals. Furthermore, fundamental studies of advanced materials using modern characterization techniques are investigated to better control the catalytic process and to maximize the overall efficiency.


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University - Beijing, China
  • B.E. Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University - Beijing, China

Selected Publications

  1. Xiaokun Yang, Lisha Yang, Wei Fan, Hongfei Lin. Effect of Redox Properties of LaCoO3 Perovskites on Production of Lactic Acid from Cellulosic Biomass in Aqueous Solutions. Catalysis Today, 269, pp. 56-64 (2016)
  2. Lisha Yang, Xiaokun Yang, Elli Tian, Hongfei Lin. Direct Conversion of Cellulose into Ethyl Lactate in Supercritical Ethanol-Water Solutions. ChemSusChem, 9, pp. 36-41 (2016)
  3. Lisha Yang, Xiaokun Yang, Elli Tian, Vivek Vattipalli, Wei Fan, Hongfei Lin. Mechanistic Insights into the Production of Methyl Lactate by Catalytic Conversion of Carbohydrates on Mesoporous Zr-SBA-15. Journal of Catalysis, 333, pp. 207-216 (2016)
  4. Ji Su, Mi Lu, Hongfei Lin. High Yield Production of Formate by Hydrogenating CO2 Derived Ammonium Carbamate / Carbonate at Room Temperature. Green Chemistry, 17, pp. 2769-2773 (2015)
  5. Lisha Yang, Mi Lu, Sarah Carl, Jesse Mayer, John C. Cushman, Elli Tian, Hongfei Lin. Biomass Characterization of Agave and Opuntia: The Drought-tolerant Bioenergy Crops. Biomass and Bioenergy, 76, pp. 43-53 (2015)
  6. Ji Su, Lisha Yang, Mi Lu, Hongfei Lin. Highly Efficient Hydrogen Storage System Based on Ammonium Bicarbonate/Formate Redox Equilibrium over Palladium Nano-catalyst. ChemSusChem, 8, pp. 813-816 (2015)
  7. Ji Su, Lisha Yang, Xiaokun Yang, Hongfei Lin. Simultaneously Converting Carbonate / Bicarbonate and Biomass to Value-added Carboxylic Acid Salts by Aqueous-phase Hydrogen Transfer. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 3, pp. 195–203 (2015) (Feature Article on Front Cover)
  8. Lisha Yang, Ji Su, Sarah Carl, Joan G. Lynam, Xiaokun Yang, Hongfei Lin. Catalytic Conversion of Hemicellulosic Biomass to Lactic Acid in pH Neutral Aqueous Phase Media. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 162, pp. 149–157 (2015)
  9. Ji Su, Lisha Yang, Reed N Liu, Hongfei Lin. Low-temperature Oxidation of Guaiacol to Maleic Acid over TS-1 Catalyst in Alkaline Aqueous H2O2 Solutions. Chinese Journal of Catalysis, 35, pp. 622–630. (2014)
  10. Hongfei Lin, Jason Strull; Ying Liu; Zachary Karmiol; Kelsey Plank; Glenn Miller; Zhanhu Guo; Lisha Yang. High Yield Production of Levulinic Acid by Catalytic Partial Oxidation of Cellulose in Aqueous Media. Energy & Environmental Science, 5, pp. 9773-9777. (2012)
  11. Suying Wei; Qiang Wang; Jiahua Zhu; Luyi Sun; Hongfei Lin; Zhanhu Guo. Multifunctional Composite Core–shell Nanoparticles. Nanoscale, 3, pp. 4474-4502. (2011) (Most Read Nanoscale Article in 2012)
  12. Jung-Nam Park; Arnold Forman; Wei Tang; Jihong Cheng; Yong-Sheng Hu; Hongfei Lin; Eric W. McFarland. Highly Active and Sinter-Resistant Pd-Nanoparticle Catalysts Encapsulated in Silica. Small, 4 (10), pp. 1694-1697. (2008)

The Gene & Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, PO Box 646515, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6515, 509-335-4332, Email ChEBE: