Dr. John Haan, Chemistry AND BIOCHEMISTRY


Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 2010
M.S., Chemical Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2005
B.S., Materials Science & Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1999

Research Areas

The research in Dr. Haan’s lab is centered on using electrochemistry to solve energy and sensing challenges with applications in biomedicine, environmental science, and alternative energy.  The lab has developed a formate fuel cell that coverts potassium formate and air to energy in a manner more efficient than alcohol fuel cells.  The lab has also developed a device that converts dissolved carbon dioxide to formate that can then be converted into energy when needed; students are presently working to optimize this device.  Dr. Haan has an existing collaboration with Drs. Su Ha and Louis Scudiero at Washington State University in which the labs work together to develop and characterize metal catalysts that improve the efficiency of biofuel conversion to energy.  Dr. Haan also has a collaboration with Dr. Frank Gomez at California State University, Los Angeles, in which the labs have worked together to develop the first formate fuel cell on paper.  This fuel cell is designed to provide energy for paper microfluidic sensing devices with biomedical and environmental applications; students are presently working to optimize the fuel cell and develop new, paper-based sensors.


  1. Hu, S., Munoz, F., Noborikawa, J., Haan, J., Scudiero, L., Ha, S., “Carbon supported Pd-based bimetallic and trimetallic catalyst for formic acid electrochemical oxidation,” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 180, 2016, 758-765.
  2. Vo, T., Purohit, K., Nguyen, C., Biggs, B., Mayoral, S., Haan, J.L., “Formate: an energy storage and transport bridge between carbon dioxide and formate fuel cell in a single device,” ChemSusChem, 8 (22),2015, 3853-3858.
  3. Munoz, F., Hua, C., Kwong, T., Tran, L., Nguyen, T.Q., Haan, J.L., “Palladium-Copper Electrocatalyst for the Promotion of the Electrochemical Oxidation of Polyalcohol Fuels in the Alkaline Direct Alcohol Fuel Cell,” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 174, 2015, 323-328.
  4. Copenhaver, T. S.; Purohit, K. H.; Domalaon, K.; Pham, L.; Burgess, B. J.; Manorothkul, N.; Galvan, V., Sotez, S.; Gomez, F. A.; Haan, J. L., “A Microfluidic Direct Formate Fuel Cell on Paper”, Electrophoresis, 36, 2015, 1825-1829.
  5. Nguyen, T.Q., Minami D., Hua C., Miller, A., Tran, K., Haan, J.L.*, “Ambient-Temperature Operation of a Platinum-Free Direct Formate Fuel Cell,” Fuel Cell Science and Technology, 12(1), 2015, 14501-14504.
  6. Noborikawa, J., Lau, J., Ta, J., Hu, S., Scudiero, L., Derakhshan, S., Ha, S., Haan, J.L., “Palladium-Copper Electrocatalyst for Promotion of Oxidation of Formate and Ethanol in Alkaline Media,” Electrochimica Acta, 137, 2014, 654-660.
  7. Tran, K., Nguyen, T.Q., Bartrom, A.M., Sadiki, A., Haan, J.L., “A Fuel-Flexible Alkaline Direct Liquid Fuel Cell,” Fuel Cells, 14, 6, 2014, 834-841.
  8. Sadiki, A., Vo, P., Hu, S., Copenhaver, T.S., Scudiero, L., Ha, S., Haan, J.L., “Increased Electrochemical Oxidation Rate of Alcohols in Alkaline Media on Palladium Surfaces Electrochemically Modified by Antimony, Lead, and Tin,” Electrochimica Acta, 139, 2014, 302-307.
  9. Nguyen, T.Q., Bartrom, A.M., Tran, K., Haan, J.L., “Operation of the Alkaline Direct Formate Fuel Cell in the Absence of Added Hydroxide,” Fuel Cells, 13, 5, 2013, 922-926.
  10. Bartrom, A.M., Ta, J., Nguyen, T., Her, J., Donovan, A., Haan, J.L., “Optimization of an Anode Fabrication Method for the Alkaline Direct Formate Fuel Cell,” Journal of Power Sources, 229, 2013, 234-238.

Grants & Special Projects

  • ACS Petroleum Research Fund, Eludication of the Electronic Effect on Palladium-Based Catalysts for the Electro-Oxidation of Formate in Alkaline Media, 2013 - 2015
  • Faculty Enhancement and Instructional Development Grant, Improving Student Learning in Chemistry 315 by the Implementation of Online Videos and Active Classroom Learning, 2015.
  • Junior Faculty Grant, CSUF, Understanding the Behavior of Pd-Cu Catalysts for Fuel Cells Powered by Renewable Alcohol Fuels as Alternatives to Ethanol, 2015.
  • Faculty Enhancement and Instructional Development Grant,  Improving and Assessing Student Learning and Attitude in a Laboratory Course, 2013.
  • Junior Faculty Grant, CSUF, Development and Characterization of Efficient Palladium-Based Catalysts for Use in the Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell, 2012.
  • Incentive Grant, CSUF, Development and Characterization of Efficient and Stable Palladium-Based Catalysts for the Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell, 2011.
  • High Quality Scholarly and Creative Activity Award, CSUF, 2013.
  • Outstanding Untenured Faculty Award, NSM, 2015.

Student Grants and Awards

  • Faculty Mentoring of Undergraduate Research Award, CSUF, Development and Presentation of a Device that Converts Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide into Energy, Tracy Vo & Brenna Biggs, 2014.
  • CSU Student Research Competition, A Device that Converts Carbon Dioxide into Energy, 2nd place, Brenna Biggs, 2015.
  • CSUF Student Research Competition, A Device that Converts Carbon Dioxide into Energy, 1st place, Brenna Biggs, 2015.
  • CSUF Honors College Outstanding Senior Thesis Award, Brenna Biggs, 2015.
  • CSUF American Chemical Society Award, Brenna Biggs, 2015.
  • CSUF Analytical Chemistry Award, Omar Muneeb, 2015.
  • CSUF Analytical Chemistry Award, Brenna Biggs, 2014.
  • Undergraduate Award for Achievement in Analytical Chemistry, 2013.
  • CSUF Chemistry Research Award, Amy Bartrom, 2013.
  • CSUF Faculty-Student Research Award, Amy Bartrom & Jennine Ta, 2012.