Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


Jae Woo Lee (이재우)

Professor and Department Head

Tel : +82-42-350-3940
Fax : +82-42-350-3910
E-mail :
Homepage :
- 2000 : Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
- 1992 : M.S., Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University
- 1990 : B.S., Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University

Employment and Professional Experience
- 2012 - present: Professor at KAIST
- 2001 - 2012: Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor at the City College of New York, CUNY
- 2000 - 2001: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at RWTH, Germany
- 1992 - 1997: Research Engineer, Ssangyong Oil (current S-Oil) Refining Co. Ltd.

Awards and Honors
- Featured article in the Chemistry World (2012)
- Omega Chi Epsilon Chapter Service Award (2006)
- Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2000)
- AIChE Journal Paper of the Month (2000)
- Outstanding Alumni Award at Seoul National University (1st Rank, 1990)

Research interests
- Chemical CO2 conversion to carbon materials (GO, PC, etc) for electrochemical energy storage applications
- Biofuels from microalgae
- Interfacial science for methane hydrate formation/dissociation with surface active agents
- Gas hydrate inhibition for gas/oil flow assurance
- Process intensification through integration of reaction and separation

Selected Publications
1. Minjun Cha, Seungjun Baek, Huen Lee, and Jae W. Lee, “Inclusion of Thiophene as a Co-Guest in Structure II Hydrate with Methane Gas,” RSC Advances, 4 (50), 26176 – 26180 (2014).
2. Wonhee Lee and Jae W. Lee, “Concurrent Production of Carbon Monoxide and Manganese (II) Oxide through the Reaction of Carbon Dioxide with Manganese”, ACS Sus. Chem. Eng., 2 (6), 1503–1509 (2014).
3. J. Zhang, A. Byeon, and Jae W. Lee, “Boron-doped carbon/iron nanocomposites as efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalysts derived from carbon dioxide,” Chem. Comm., 50 (48), 6349 – 6352 (2014).
4. Kyung Taek Cho, Sangbok Lee, and Jae W. Lee, “Synthesis of Highly Electrocapacitive Nitrogen-doped Graphitic Porous Carbons using Polyacrylonitrile,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 118, 9357−9367 (2014).
5. J. Zhang and J.W. Lee, “Supercapacitor Electrodes Derived from Carbon Dioxide” ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2 (4), 735–740 (2014).
6. H. Im, H. Lee, M. Park, J. Yang, and J. W. Lee, “Concurrent lipid extraction and transesterification of wet microalgae,” Bioresource Tech. 152, 534-537 (2014). Most downloaded article.
7. M. Cha, S. Baek, J. Morris, and J. W. Lee, “Hydrophobic particle effects on hydrate crystal growth at the water – oil interface,” Chemistry Asian Journal, 9(1), 261–267 (2014).
8. M. Cha, H. Lee, and J. W. Lee, “Thermodynamic and Spectroscopic Identification of Methane Enclathration in the Binary Heterocyclic Compound Hydrates,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (45), 23515–23521 (2013).
9. R. Xiong, X. Li, A. Byeon, and J. W. Lee, “Production of nitrogen-doped graphite from carbon dioxide using polyaminoborane,” RSC Adv., 3 (48), 25752-25757 (2013).
10. O. Salako, C. Lo, A. Couzis, P. Somasundaran, and J. W. Lee, “Adsorption Isotherm of Gemini-surfactants onto Hydrates,” J Colloid Interface Sci. 412, 1-6 (2013).Most downloaded article.
11. A. Byeon and J.W. Lee, “Electrocatalytic activity of BN co-doped graphene oxide derived from carbon dioxide,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 117, 24167-24173 (2013).
12. J. Zhang, A. Byeon, and Jae W. Lee, “Boron-Doped Electrocatalysts Derived from Carbon Dioxide,” J. Mater. Chem. A, 1 (30), 8665 – 8671 (2013).
13. Minjun Cha, Alexander Couzis, and Jae W. Lee, “Macroscopic Investigation of Water Volume Effects on Interfacial Dynamic Behaviors between Clathrate Hydrate and Water,” Langmuir, 29(19), 5793−5800 (2013).
14. R. Xiong, J. Zhang, and J. W. Lee, “Carbon Dioxide-Facilitated Low-Temperature Hydrogen Desorption from Polyaminoborane,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (8), 3799–3803 (2013).
15. J. Zhang and J. W. Lee, “Production of boron-doped porous carbon by the reaction of carbon dioxide with sodium borohydride at atmospheric pressure,” Carbon, 53, 216–221 (2013).
16. G. Zylyftari, J.W. Lee, and J.F. Morris, “Salt effects on thermodynamic and rheological properties of hydrate forming emulsions”, Chem. Eng. Sci., 95,148–160 (2013).
17. J. Zhang and J.W. Lee, “Progress and prospects in thermolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane for mobile applications”, KJCE, 29 (4), 421-431 (2012)
18. O. Salako, C. Lo, J.S. Zhang, A. Couzis, P. Somasundaran, and J.W. Lee, “Adsorption of sodium dodecyl sulfate onto clathrate hydrates in the presence of salt,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 386, 333–337 (2012).
19. C. Lo, J. Zhang, P. Somasundaran, and J. W. Lee, “Investigations of surfactant effects on gas hydrate formation via infrared spectroscopy,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 376, 173–176 (2012).
20. R. Xiong, J. Zhang, Z. Yu, D. Atkins, J.W. Lee, “Rapid release of 1.5 equivalents of hydrogen from CO2-treated ammonia borane,” J. Int. Hydrogen Energy, 373 (4), 3344-3349 (2012).
21. J. Zhang, Z. Yu, X. Guan, R. E. Stark, D. L. Atkins, J.W. Lee, “Formation of Graphene Oxide from CO2 Using Ammonia Borane,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 116 (3), 2639–2644 (2012). Featured article in the Chemistry World (
22. P. Karanjkar, J. W. Lee, and J. F. Morris, “Surfactant Effects on Hydrate Crystallization at the Water–Oil Interface: Hollow-Conical Crystals,” Cryst. Growth Des., 12 (8), 3817–3824 (2012).
23. P. Karanjkar, J. W. Lee, and J. F. Morris, “Calorimetric Investigation of Cyclopentane Hydrate Formation in an Emulsion,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 68 (1), 481-491 (2012).

Energy Fundamentals Design Lab (EFDL)
Hydrogen storage, Methane/CO2 hydrates, Gas/oil flow assurance, Chemical & biological CO2 conversion, Green engineering

[ Representative Research Projects ]


■ H2 Storage and CO2 conversion to graphene oxide-boron nanocomposites using ammonia borane: 

Ammonia borane (NH3BH3, AB) is one of promising new hydrogen (H2) storage materials for H2-powered transportation because it contains the highest H2 content of the hydrides (19.6 wt % H2). However, the main obstacle to adopting AB as an on-board H2 carrier is the slow release at the working temperatures of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (80 – 90 oC). We have recently proposed a new way to accelerate H2 release without sacrificing storage density or adding any promoter: CO2 treatment of AB. The CO2-pretreated AB at 4 bars and 85 oC provides rapid H2 release at a level of 8.33 wt% H2 within one hour, while pretreatment with 30 bars CO2 and 100 oC leads to the formation of graphene oxide-boron nanocomposites in a subsequent thermal decomposition up to 700 oC at ambient pressure. Motivated by these promising results, the central theme of this project is to understand the reaction mechanisms of enhanced hydrogen release of CO2-treated AB and CO2 reduction to the graphene oxide composite using AB. Through this understanding, we aim at achieving usable H2 storage capacity higher than 10 wt% (to meet 2017 DOE target) and maximizing the yield of GO-boron nanocomposites. We are trying to use various reduction agents to convert CO2 to carbon materials for electrochemical energy storage applications.



■ Dynamic Adhesion Behaviors in Clathrate Hydrate Systems: The main goal of this proposal is to understand the dynamic adhesion interactions between clathrate hydrates and various oil-water interfaces. Elucidating the adhesion behaviors of hydrate particles in multi-phase systems consisting of gas, oil, water, and solid surfaces may provide fundamental insights into the avoidance of hydrate plugs in gas/oil delivery lines and processing units. To understand the adhesion behavior subject to the phase transition and fluid motion, the mechanism for capillary bridge formation and aggregation between hydrate particles, partially converted water droplets, and water droplets should be identified in a micro-scale domain. Then, this micro-scale adhesion mechanism can be interpreted to understand the macro-scale adhesion behaviors. We will quantify the changes in dynamic adhesion when accompanying surface-active agent (surfactants and nano-particles) injection, substrate (e.g. metal surfaces in the pipelines) aging and various surface properties of roughness, hydrophobicity, and hydrophilicity.  


■ Design of energy cascaded systems for heat and pressure pinches: The intensification of reaction and separation can lead to the simplification of a complex process, dramatic economic savings, and environmentally benign operation. The main task in realizing this technology is to achieve a solid understanding of the interaction between multiple reactions and separation in one physical shell or in a fewest number of operation units. We will use the visualization tools with mathematical models.


Recruiting: For anyone who is interested in the research above, please contact me (Jae Woo Lee,, x3940) or visit the EFDL lab (x3980).