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Energy and Environment Directorate

Jian Liu

Jian Liu

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 372-4477


Dr. Jian Liu is currently working as a senior research engineer in the Applied Functional Materials group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where he is aiming to develop novel materials and processes for applications in molecules separation and energy storage and conversion. He also has expertise in chemical processes design using process modeling software. Dr. Jian Liu earned his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2011 and his PhD research focused on CO2 capture from flue gas using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Dr. Liu has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and he organized the session titled in "Novel materials and processes for air pollution control" in AIChE Annual Meeting.

Research Interests

  • CO2 capture, sequestration, and utilization
  • Gas storage and separation
  • Materials synthesis and characterization
  • Metal-organic framework (MOF) membrane
  • Adsorption process design and analysis
  • Process modeling and analysis

Education and Credentials

  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2011
  • ME, Chemical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Science, 2006
  • BE, Chemical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 2003

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Member of American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE)
  • Committee member of Adsorption and Ion Exchange area in AIChE
  • Member of American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Physical Chemistry (ACS), Journal of Materials Chemistry (RSC), Crystal Growth and Design (ACS), Nano Energy (Elsevier), and RSC Advance (RSC).

Awards and Recognitions

  • ACS Energy and Fuel Division Glenn Award, 2012
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award, 2011, 2013
  • AIChE Separation Division Graduate Student Research Award, 2011
  • Vanderbilt University Graduate School Travel Grant, 2009, 2010.

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Deng Z., H. Jung, H. Ouro-Koura, A.L. Salalila, B. Friedman, J. Liu, and A.E. Copping. "Efficient Hydraulic-to-electric Energy Conversion for PCM-based Ocean Thermal Gradient Energy System to Power Uncrewed Underwater Vehicles." In OCEANS 2023 Limerick.
  • Deng Z., H. Jung, H. Ouro-Koura, A.L. Salalila, B. Friedman, J. Liu, and A.E. Copping. 2023. "Efficient Hydraulic-to-electric Energy Conversion for PCM-based Ocean Thermal Gradient Energy System to Power Uncrewed Underwater Vehicles." In OCEANS 2023, June 5-8, 2023, Limerick, Ireland, 1-4. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-183895. doi:10.1109/OCEANSLimerick52467.2023.10244366
  • Fitria F., J. Liu, and B. Yang. 2023. "Roles of Mineral Matter in Biomass Processing to Biofuels." Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining 17, no. 3:696-717. PNNL-SA-180718. doi:10.1002/bbb.2468
  • Graham T.R., M. Pouvreau, R.M. Gorniak, H. Wang, E.T. Nienhuis-Marcial, Q. Miller, and J. Liu, et al. 2023. "Disordered interfaces of alkaline aluminate salt hydrates provide glimpses of Al3+ coordination changes." Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 637. PNNL-SA-179769. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2023.01.003


  • Jung H., C. Venkata Subban, J. Mctigue, J.J. Martinez, A.E. Copping, J. Osorio, and J. Liu, et al. 2022. "Extracting Energy from Ocean Thermal and Salinity Gradients to Power Unmanned Underwater Vehicles: State of the Art, Current Limitations, and Future Outlook." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 160. PNNL-SA-163771. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2022.112283
  • Liu J., J. Dempsey, S. Li, Y. Jiang, L.J. Snowden-Swan, W.L. Kubic, and E. Tan, et al. 2022. "Methodology for Assessing the Maximum Potential Impact of Separations Opportunities in Industrial Processes." Frontiers in Sustainability 3. PNNL-SA-178090. doi:10.3389/frsus.2022.1056580


  • Liu J., P.F. Martin, and B.P. McGrail. 2021. "Rare-Earth Element Extraction from Geothermal Brine Using Magnetic Core-Shell Nanoparticles-Techno-Economic Analysis." Geothermics 89. PNNL-SA-140837. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.101938
  • Thallapally P.K., J. Liu, H. Li, J. Lu, J.W. Grate, B.P. McGrail, and Z. Deng, et al. 2021. Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for Refrigerant Leak Detection - CRADA 402 (Final Report). PNNL-32268. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for Refrigerant Leak Detection - CRADA 402 (Final Report)



  • Chakraborty D., S. Nandi, M.A. Sinnwell, J. Liu, R. Kushwaha, P.K. Thallapally, and R. Vaidhyanathan. 2019. "Hyper-Cross-linked Porous Organic Frameworks with Ultramicropores for Selective Xenon Capture." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11, no. 14:13279-13284. PNNL-SA-140970. doi:10.1021/acsami.9b01619
  • Cullinan V.I., L.A. Mahoney, T.M. Brouns, S.K. Nune, J.A. Bamberger, C.K. Clayton, and L.F. Pease, et al. 2019. BY-110 Headspace Sampling Comparison Test. PNNL-28801 Vol. 1. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. BY-110 Headspace Sampling Comparison Test
  • Liu J., H.T. Schaef, P.F. Martin, B.P. McGrail, and L.S. Fifield. 2019. "Understanding H2 Evolution from the Decomposition of Di-butylmagnesium Isomers Using In-situ X-ray Diffraction Coupled with Mass Spectroscopy." ACS Applied Energy Materials 2, no. 7:5272-5278. PNNL-SA-119043. doi:10.1021/acsaem.9b00958


  • Liu J., J. Zheng, D. Barpaga, S.R. Sabale, B.W. Arey, M.A. Derewinski, and B.P. McGrail, et al. 2018. "A Tunable Bimetallic MOF-74 for Adsorption Chiller Applications." European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2018, no. 7:885-889. PNNL-SA-129916. doi:10.1002/ejic.201800042
  • Liu J., M.D. Bearden, C.A. Fernandez, L.S. Fifield, S.K. Nune, R.K. Motkuri, and P.K. Koech, et al. 2018. "Techno-economic analysis of magnesium extraction from seawater via a catalyzed organo-metathetical process." JOM. The Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society 70, no. 3:431-435. PNNL-SA-119113. doi:10.1007/s11837-017-2735-6


  • Childers M.I., M.C. Endres, C.A. Burns, B.J. Garcia, J. Liu, T.W. Wietsma, and A.H. Bonneville, et al. 2017. "Novel Highly Dispersible, Thermally Stable Core/Shell Proppants for Geothermal Applications." Geothermics 70. PNNL-SA-121506. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.05.013


  • Banerjee D., C.M. Simon, A.M. Plonka, R.K. Motkuri, J. Liu, X. Chen, and B. Smit, et al. 2016. "Metal-Organic Framework with Optimal Adsorption, Separation, and Selectivity towards Xenon." Nature Communications 7. PNNL-SA-116761. doi:10.1038/ncomms11831
  • Li B., J. Liu, Z. Nie, W. Wang, D.M. Reed, J. Liu, and B.P. McGrail, et al. 2016. "Metal-organic frameworks as highly active electrocatalysts for high-energy density, aqueous zinc-polyiodide redox flow batteries." Nano Letters 16, no. 7:4335-4340. PNNL-SA-116994. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01426
  • Liu J., N.L. Canfield, and W. Liu. 2016. "Preparation and Characterization of a Hydrophobic Metal-Organic Framework Membrane Supported on Thin Porous Metal Sheet." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 55, no. 13:3823-3832. PNNL-SA-106001. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.5b04739
  • Nandasiri M.I., J. Liu, B.P. McGrail, J.W. Jenks, H.T. Schaef, V. Shutthanandan, and Z. Nie, et al. 2016. "Increased Thermal Conductivity in Metal-Organic Heat Carrier Nanofluids." Scientific Reports 6. PNNL-SA-116018. doi:10.1038/srep27805
  • Nune S.K., D. Lao, D.J. Heldebrant, J. Liu, M.J. Olszta, R.K. Kukkadapu, and L.M. Gordon, et al. 2016. "Anomalous Water Expulsion from Carbon-Based Rods at High Humidity." Nature Nanotechnology 11, no. 9:791-797. PNNL-SA-112991. doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.91
  • Zhang W., D. Banerjee, J. Liu, H.T. Schaef, J.V. Crum, C.A. Fernandez, and R.K. Kukkadapu, et al. 2016. "Redox-Active Metal-Organic Composites for Highly Selective Oxygen Separation Applications." Advanced Materials 28, no. 18:3572-3577. PNNL-SA-112948. doi:10.1002/adma.201600259


  • Banerjee D., A. Cairns, J. Liu, R.K. Motkuri, S.K. Nune, C.A. Fernandez, and R. Krishna, et al. 2015. "Potential of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Separation of Xenon and Krypton." Accounts of Chemical Research 48, no. 2:211-219. PNNL-SA-104995. doi:10.1021/ar5003126
  • Jeon J., L. Zhang, J. Lutkenhaus, D.D. Laskar, J.P. Lemmon, D. Choi, and M.I. Nandasiri, et al. 2015. "Controlling Porosity in Lignin-Derived Nanoporous Carbon for Supercapacitor Applications." ChemSusChem 8, no. 3:428-432. PNNL-SA-106038. doi:10.1002/cssc.201402621
  • Motkuri R.K., P.K. Thallapally, H.V. Annapureddy, L.X. Dang, R. Krishna, S.K. Nune, and C.A. Fernandez, et al. 2015. "Separation of polar compounds using a flexible metal-organic framework." Chemical Communications 51, no. 40:8421-8424. PNNL-SA-106787. doi:10.1039/c5cc00113g


  • Chen L., P.S. Reiss, S.Y. Chong, D. Holden, K.E. Jelfs, T. Hasell, and M.A. Little, et al. 2014. "Separation of rare gases and chiral molecules by selective binding in porous organic cages." Nature Materials 13, no. 10:954-960. PNNL-SA-99518. doi:10.1038/nmat4035
  • Li B., Y. Zhang, R. Krishna, K. Yao, Y. Han, Z. Wu, and D. Ma, et al. 2014. "Introduction of p-Complexation into Porous Aromatic Framework for Highly Selective Adsorption of Ethylene over Ethane." Journal of the American Chemical Society 136, no. 24:8654-8660. PNNL-SA-100671. doi:10.1021/ja502119z
  • Liu J., C.A. Fernandez, P.F. Martin, P.K. Thallapally, and D.M. Strachan. 2014. "A Two-Column Method for the Separation of Kr and Xe from Process Off-Gases." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 53, no. 32:12893-12899. PNNL-SA-100864. doi:10.1021/ie502156h
  • Liu J., D.M. Strachan, and P.K. Thallapally. 2014. "Enhanced Noble Gas Adsorption in Ag@MOF-74Ni." Chemical Communications 50, no. 4:466-468. PNNL-SA-99495. doi:10.1039/C3CC47777K
  • Motkuri R.K., J. Liu, C.A. Fernandez, S.K. Nune, P.K. Thallapally, and B.P. McGrail. 2014. "Metal-Organic Frameworks - Synthesis and Applications." In Industrial Catalysis and Separations: Innovations for Process Intensification, edited by KV Raghavan and BM Reddy. 61-103. Waretown, New Jersey:Apple Academic Press Inc. PNNL-SA-97713.


  • Tan K., P. Canepa, Q. Gong, J. Liu, D.H. Johnson, A.A. Dyevoich, and P.K. Thallapally, et al. 2013. "Mechanism of Preferential Adsorption of SO2 into Two Microporous Paddle Wheel Frameworks M(bdc)(ted)(0.5)." Chemistry of Materials 25, no. 23:4653-4662. PNNL-SA-93017. doi:10.1021/cm401270b
  • Tian J., J. Liu, J. Liu, and P.K. Thallapally. 2013. "Identification of solid-state forms of cucurbit[6]uril for carbon dioxide capture." CrystEngComm 15, no. 8:1528-1531. PNNL-SA-92716. doi:10.1039/C3CE27017C
  • Wang X., J. Liu, J.M. Bonefont, D. Yuan, P.K. Thallapally, and S. Ma. 2013. "A porous covalent porphyrin framework with exceptional uptake capacity of saturated hydrocarbons oil spill cleanup." Chemical Communications 49, no. 15:1533-1535. PNNL-SA-90030. doi:10.1039/c2cc38067f


  • Fernandez C.A., J. Liu, P.K. Thallapally, and D.M. Strachan. 2012. "Switching Kr/Xe Selectivity with Temperature in a Metal-Organic Framework." Journal of the American Chemical Society 134, no. 22:9046-9049. PNNL-SA-85894. doi:10.1021/ja302071t
  • Liu J., J. Tian, P.K. Thallapally, and B.P. McGrail. 2012. "Selective CO2 Capture from Flue Gas Using Metal-Organic Frameworks?A Fixed Bed Study." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 116, no. 17:9575 - 9581. PNNL-SA-83603. doi:10.1021/jp300961j
  • Liu J., P.K. Thallapally, and D.M. Strachan. 2012. "Metal-Organic Frameworks for Removal of Xe and Kr from Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plants." Langmuir 28, no. 31:11584-11589. PNNL-SA-86305. doi:10.1021/la301870n
  • Liu J., P.K. Thallapally, B.P. McGrail, D.R. Brown, and J. Liu. 2012. "Progress in Adsorption-Based CO2 Capture by Metal-Organic Frameworks." Chemical Society Reviews 41, no. 6:2308 - 2322. PNNL-SA-81981. doi:10.1039/C1CS15221A

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas