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Katie Dongmei Li-Oakey

Associate Professor

Room 361A, EERB
University of Wyoming

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering & Energy and Petroleum Engineering
Dept. 3295
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone:  (307) 766-3592

Material Science and Engineering Program  Faculty Member  
CAES  Faculty Member  
CEPM  Faculty Member  
INBRE  Pilot Grand Investigator

Research Group Website


Educational Background:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2003-2005
Ph.D. Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2003
M.S. Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, 1997
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Shandong University (formerly Shandong University of Technology), 1994

Professional Background:

Adjunct Assistant Professor  University of Wyoming  2010-2011       
Sr. New Product Development Engineer  DRC Metrigraphics  2007-2008
Sr. Process Engineer  Intel Corporation  2006-2007

Areas of Research Activity:

  • Liquid filtration in energy exploration related activities (coal bed methane, hydraulic fracturing etc.)
  • Catalytic, functional membrane, thin film and coating material development
  • Fuel cell catalysts and membrane materials (proton exchange membrane and molten carbonate fuel cells)

Description of Research Activities:

Built upon years of academic and industrial background and experience, my research focuses on catalytic, functional membrane, thin film and coating material development with applications spanning liquid filtration, gas processing and biomedical sensors. New approaches to implementing catalyst and surface chemistry within membranes and at functional surfaces offer alternative solutions to existing separation and surface science problems, while allowing us to study them in a different context.   As such, my long-term research goal is to develop new catalytic membranes and thin films that are self-cleaning or self-defending against fouling (in liquid separation) or poisoning (gas separation).

Existing and proposed projects in our group include:

1. Integrated accelerated precipitation softening (APS) - microfiltration (MF) assembly and process development to maximize water recovery during energy production and CO2 sequestration

Although reverse osmosis (RO) has been extensively used to treat a variety of source waters, including energy development produced water, managing the concentrate that is produced as a byproduct during RO has persisted as an environmental and economic challenge in maximizing water recovery rate. The APS-MF assembly will help reduce the volume of concentrate during the RO process, maximizing water recovery rate.

2. Fuel cell catalysts and materials studies via atomic layer deposition (ALD)

Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity and produce water or pure CO2 as by-products, which consequently allow high efficiency conversion as well as minimal pollutants (if any at all) due to the removal of moving parts (contrary to combustion engine). Although pure hydrogen is the ultimate fuel type for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), natural gas and syngas can also be used for PEMFC as long as a compact membrane separation assembly is used to separate H2 from other gases. For other fuel cell types, such as molten carbonate fuel cells, various carbon based biomass fuel can be used as the fuel. My research interests include using ALD to study non-precious metal catalysts in PEMFC devices in order to reduce cost and advanced anti-corrosion coating material development for molten carbonate cell devices to increase their durability and efficiency.

3. Catalytic sulfur-resistant composite membrane development for natural gas and syngas processing

This project focuses on creating a composite membrane by implementing lanthanide oxysulfide nanoparticles into metal membranes, thus providing sulfur tolerant membranes for natural gas and syngas processing. Although there are recent literature data on either the synthesis of sulfur-resistant catalysts or lanthanide oxysulfide nanoparticles, combination of these two techniques has not been realized. The development of a sulfur-resistant composite membrane will help understand how the recently discovered lanthanide oxysulfide catalysts can be optimally implemented into hydrogen separation membranes in order to create sulfur resistant composite membranes.


  1. Achieving Ultra-low Pt Loading with Enhanced Activity and Durability, Dongmei Li, Shuai Tan and Shibely Saha, US Provisional Patent, filed June 10, 2016, serial number: 62/348,158. 
  2. Durable and Active Catalyst Platform Consisting of Phase-pure Transition Metal Carbide Support and Metal Nanoparticles Deposited via Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), Dongmei Li and Shibely Saha, US Provisional Patent, filed March 12, 2016, serial number:    62/307,450.
  3. Compact catalytic membrane reactor for chemical process intensification, Shuai Tan and Dongmei Li, US Patent 9138718, September 22, 2015.
  4. MIS-based Sensors with Improved Hydrogen Sensitivity, Dongmei Li, W. Medlin, R.L. Bastasz, Anthony McDaniel, US Patent 7,340,938, 2008.

Selected Publications:

  1. Shuai Tan, Steve Paglieri and Dongmei LiNano-scale Sulfur-Tolerant Lanthanide Oxysulfide/Oxysulfate Catalysts for Water-Gas-Shift Reaction in a Novel Reactor Configuration, Catalysis Communications, 73, p. 16–21, 2016.
  2. Shibely Saha, Bridger Martin, Brian Leonard and Dongmei LiProbing Synergetic Effects Between Platinum Nanoparticles Deposited via Atomic Layer Deposition and Molybdenum Carbide Nanotube Support through Surface Characterization and Device Performance, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 4, 9253 - 9265, 2016. 
  3. Dongmei Li, W. Medlin, Application of Polymer-Coated Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor Sensors in Detection of Dissolved Hydrogen, Applied Physics Letters, 88, p. 233507, 2006.
  4. Dongmei Li, W. Medlin, R. Bastasz and T. McDaniel, Effects of Membrane Coating on the Response of Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor (MIS) Sensors, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Vol. 115, p. 86-92, 2006.
  5. Dongmei Li, R. L. Sani, A. R. Greenberg and W. B. Krantz, Membrane Formation via Solid-Liquid Thermally Induced Phase Separation (TIPS) - Model Development and Validation, Journal of Membrane Science, 279, p. 50-60, 2006.
Contact Us

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

EN 4055

Dept. 3295

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-2500


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