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Wu Feng: Make Better Green Battery for China

[Editor's notes] 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, which is the first year to implement the 14th five year plan and start a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way. On the occasion of the study and education of party history carried out by the whole party, the Publicity Department of the Party Committee specially launched a report on "always follow the party and forge ahead in a new journey", comprehensively showing the achievements made by the university in strengthening the Party's leadership and Party building, vividly telling the struggle stories of BIT workers, widely condensing the majestic force of BIT career development, and welcoming the Centennial birthday of the Communist Party of China with excellent achievement.


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Books and materials are piled everywhere on the table, windowsill and bookcase. An office on the 9th floor of Building 5 of Beijing Institute of Technology shows the busyness and dedication of the owner everywhere. The owner of the office is Wu Feng, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, chief professor of Beijing Institute of Technology and Materials and President of Qiushi Academy. The teacher, who was rated as "very low-key" by colleagues and students, is a leading figure in China's battery field and has made outstanding contributions to the development of green secondary batteries and new energy materials in China.

"The needs of the country will always come first!" Over the years, Wu Feng has been determined to be the best "green battery" with a "big country" in mind and is committed to strengthening the country with science and technology and breaking the foreign blockade. He made innovations and breakthroughs and led the development of new energy industry; He loves to grow like his own children and cultivate the fragrance of peaches and plums. As the leader professor, Wu Feng won the second prize of National Technological Invention, the second prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress, 12 Provincial and Ministerial Science and Technology Awards, He Liang He Li Science and Technological Progress Award, and was rated as an excellent Communist Party Member in Beijing in 2021.


Break! China has its own "green battery"

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If we ask Wu Feng which color he prefers most , his answer will definitely be green. The reason can be traced back to 1987. As an excellent young and middle-aged expert and cross-century talent, Wu Feng was employed as the youngest expert of the First Functional Material Group of the National "863" Plan this year. Since then, the "863" spirit of "justice, dedication, innovation, realism and cooperation" has always inspired and guided him along the way.

In the field of chemical power supply, Ni MH battery and lithium-ion battery are called green secondary battery because they can be recharged repeatedly. What's more, they're environmentally friendly and clean, and have superior performance. They are one of the main power sources of hybrid electric vehicles. In the early 1990s, Japan, the United States and other countries had a number of patents for hydrogen storage alloys, covering almost all the elements on the periodic table. Ni MH batteries have also entered large-scale production, while China has no patents, no materials and no battery products.

"How to break the foreign patent monopoly in this field?" It's not easy to answer this question. It requires innovation and breakthrough, and it takes a long time to work for it. After years of exploration, Wu Feng led the team to solve the problem that lithium is easy to volatilize in the high-temperature smelting process by starting with lithium elements not involved in foreign patents, invented lithium containing hydrogen storage alloy, and obtained the pass for China's Ni MH battery to explore the international market. In addition, the Wu Feng team has developed high-performance metal foam fluid, which provides material support for battery high capacity and electrode manufacturing continuity.

On this basis, Wu Feng presided over the establishment of China's first pilot test base of Ni MH battery and the first continuous automatic production line of Ni MH battery, independently developed and produced multi-specification Ni MH battery products and series of high-power battery packs, which have been successfully applied to a variety of hybrid vehicles. The successful construction of the pilot base also provides knowledge reserve, technology reserve, engineering reserve and talent reserve for the rapid development of lithium-ion batteries in China.

"We put forward a new direct sealing process, ending the history of intermittent open forming and workshop manufacturing of alkaline secondary batteries in China." Wu Feng said. In order to meet the high-power demand of hybrid electric vehicles, Wu Feng also broke through the original design limitations and designed a new electrode structure and lug connection mode, which increased the power density of Ni MH battery by more than 5 times.

"Some performance indexes such as battery capacity and power density have reached the international leading level. It has driven and promoted the formation of a high-tech industrial cluster with an annual output value of more than 10 billion yuan, and promoted the technological progress of relevant industries. " Industry experts, heads of the State Science and Technology Commission and other departments highly affirmed Wu Feng's research results and the establishment of the pilot base.

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Nickel hydrogen automatic production line

After the successful development of Ni MH battery, Wu Feng focused his research direction on lithium-ion battery and its key materials with broader prospects. As one of the earliest advocates and organizers of lithium-ion battery research in China, Wu Feng led the team to make breakthroughs in key technologies such as nano spinel coating in order to achieve the high specific energy requirements of the new generation of lithium-ion battery, and achieved double improvements in capacity and rate performance, which was highly concerned and praised by international peer experts.

Wu Feng independently developed high specific capacity positive, negative and high voltage electrolyte materials, developed high specific energy lithium-ion batteries with energy density of more than 300wh / kg, took the lead in putting forward the concept of battery system safety threshold boundary, and developed battery safe operation system... In the research of lithium-ion batteries, Wu Feng put forward a series of innovative ideas and formed a series of innovative achievements. Some of these innovative achievements of "innovative technology reaching the international leading level" have been successfully applied to China's green battery industry.

"To do a good job in China's green battery, we must first achieve a breakthrough in basic research, especially for the key index of secondary battery energy density." Based on years of accumulation in the R & D and industrialization of new secondary batteries and key materials, Wu Feng took the lead in putting forward the innovative idea of using multi electron reaction system to realize the leap forward improvement of battery energy density in the world, and then put forward the theory of light element, multi electron and multi ion reaction, which expanded the vision of battery material research.And a series of new electrode materials with multi electron reaction characteristics have been developed. Moreover, Wu Feng's team also prepared high specific capacity sulfur based composite cathode materials that can realize multi electron reaction and high specific energy lithium sulfur secondary batteries with energy density of more than 600wh / kg, confirmed the reversible intercalation mechanism in trivalent aluminum metal oxides for the first time, and constructed a new three electron aluminum secondary battery system. It provides theoretical basis and technical support for leading new high specific energy battery system.


With "the greatest of the country" in mind, serve the major national strategies

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"Green and energy, along with life. The quiet green, breeds the potential of life. When you present green batteries to the rapidly changing motherland, have you devoted all your body and mind to her?!... "

This poem, entitled "green energy life", was written by Wu Feng. It is a true portrayal of a scientist who loves his career and serves his motherland. As a battery expert, he not only strives to do a good job in knowledge, but also takes the lead in promoting the development of China's green battery industry with a broad mind.

"Scientists should have the world in mind." In February 1993, Wu Feng, who was already a successful young and middle-aged scholar, participated in the Symposium on Soliciting Opinions on the government work report chaired by Premier Li Peng. As one of the main speakers, his suggestions on "enhancing the scientific and technological awareness of the whole nation" were written into the government work report.

In 2002, Wu Feng was selected as the chief scientist of the National Key Basic Research (973) program named "basic research related to new green secondary battery system" by the Ministry of Science and Technology, and began to build a framework for China's basic research in this field. Since then, Wu Feng has been aiming at the forefront of the world and grasping the development direction of green battery technology. Each phase of 973 Plan Project has been rated as excellent in the final acceptance. As the chief scientist, he has presided over three consecutive 973 projects.

"The needs of the country will always come first!" From innovating scientific and technological achievements to promoting industrial development, Wu Feng did what he said. From a young teacher to a leader in the field of green energy and batteries in China, looking back on his 40 years of teaching career, the sense of mission of Beijing Institute of Technology to serve the major national strategy is deeply branded on Wu Feng.

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Wu Feng (third from the left in the front row) team is in the National High-tech New Energy Storage Material Engineering Development Center.

In the early 1990s, Wu Feng was ordered to go to the National High-tech New Energy Storage Material Engineering Development Center (pilot test base of Ni MH battery) established in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province. In order to fulfill the national mission, Wu Feng left his wife and young children in Beijing and resolutely embarked on the journey to the south. He worked there for ten years in Zhongshan City which is two thousand miles away. In the past ten years, he traveled back and forth between Beijing and Guangdong. He worked hard day and night, but behind his remarkable achievements is a body of pain. What supports Wu Feng to overcome difficulties is his unchanging belief in "serving the needs of the country" and his persistent pursuit as a Communist Party member.

As one of the industry leaders in the research and industrial development of green energy and secondary batteries in China, Wu Feng has repeatedly made suggestions for major national research plans and he has been received commendations. In 2015, he was awarded the "Special Contribution Expert of China's Battery Industry", and in 2016, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the first time by the International Association of Automotive Lithium Batteries (IALB). He was also specially invited to participate in the investigation and demonstration of the mobile phone explosion accident of SamSung company in Korea, safeguarding the rights and interests of Chinese consumers.

"Dear Professor Wu, it is my great honor to inform you that the Council of the University of Massachusetts voted unanimously to award you an honorary doctor of Science. We respect your outstanding contributions to high-tech research, especially green new energy technology and greenhouse gas emission reduction, and welcome you to cooperate with us in electric vehicles. Your outstanding achievements have always given us enlightenment and inspiration. " In March 2014, Wu Feng received a letter from the president of the University of Massachusetts Boston, highly affirming his achievements and contributions to the green battery industry. The honorary doctorate of the University was only awarded to elites from all walks of life, such as US President Barack Obama and Nobel physics prize winner Leon ledman. Wu Feng became the first Chinese scholar to win this honor.

"Green energy is my interest which is my research direction, and I will continue!" When it comes to the future, Wu Feng's original heart remains unchanged.


"The greatest wish is to cultivate the latecomers"

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"In 1982, Wu Feng graduated with a master's degree and later worked in Beijing Institute of Technology. Due to outstanding scientific research achievements, he was appointed deputy director in charge of scientific research in the Department of Chemical Engineering just two years later." This is the report about Wu Feng in the front page article of Guangming Daily on December 12, 1990, "Breaking the seniority, bridging the talent gap, optimizing the talent environment of Beijing Institute of Technology, and 31 middle-aged and young teachers have been promoted to professors and associate professors". In 1986, Wu Feng was promoted to associate professor by the University. 30 years later, in 2016, he became one of the first two "outstanding professors" selected under the new system after the personnel system reform of Beijing Institute of Technology.

"In BIT, I gained career development and personal growth, which is inseparable from the cultivation of BIT and the help of my predecessors." It impresses Wu Feng deeply when he talks about his growth and development in BIT. Teaching and educating people with rigorous scholarship is his lifelong pursuit. Over the past 40 years, Wu Feng has repeatedly declined to take up leadership positions and consistently adhered to the front line in order to have more time and energy to invest in teaching and scientific research and in training students and young teachers.

"Mr. Wu has a solid knowledge base and rich research experience. He pays special attention to the inspiration and cultivation of young people's innovative thinking. When we are confused or have questions, he will habitually give guidance." When it comes to Wu Feng's cultivation of young people, Chen Renjie, a young team teacher, admires him very much. Even though his work piles up like a mountain, Wu Feng is personally generous with his time in guiding students and training young teachers. He devotes a lot of effort to every young man and lead them to take every step of academic research.

Wu Feng has taught many courses such as Physical Chemistry, Catalysis and Adsorption Materials and Introduction to Green Energy Materials. In the teaching process, he often uses heuristic teaching to run through how to be a man and how to learn“ Mr. Wu's course is not only informative with knowledge updating quickly, but also he always cite various authorities and the class is lively. " Wu Feng's course is deeply loved by the students.

Those who move people's hearts should not be preceded by feelings. In the hearts of the students, Wu Feng is not only an "academic wise star", but also a "loving father in life"“ Students often ask me, 'teacher, why are you so kind to us?' I will answer naturally, because that's what my teacher did to me. " Said Lili, Wu Feng's student and team young teacher, when she talks about the concern for students.

Li Li and Su Yuefeng, a student and young teacher of Wu Feng's team, still remember that during the "SARS" in 2003, Wu Feng specially purchased drugs, health care products and nutrition to visit their group of isolated students to reduce everyone's ideological pressure. Over the years, whether in daily life or scientific research, Wu Feng has always been able to provide the most powerful and warm support for the young people around him at the critical moment of life.

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Wu Feng (sixth from the left in the back row) is with the students

" Teacher, is the person who teaches students knowledge ,tells students the way to live and answers students' questions.. My greatest wish is that the students can surpass me. " This is what Wu Feng often says. He has interpreted his wishes with his actions and spared no effort to train generation after generation of students. Over the years, Wu Feng has trained more than 80 doctors and more than 70 masters. Under his influence and guidance, students and young teachers of the team have grown into backbone and leading talents in the field of secondary batteries and new energy materials in China. Wu Feng, who is deeply loved and respected by teachers and students, has also been rated as a model of teacher ethics of Beijing Institute of Technology, a provincial and ministerial excellent teacher and an academic and technical leader.

China's green secondary battery industry has grown from scratch, from small to strong, from breaking through the blockade to leading the forefront, won one-third of the world in the lithium-ion battery industry with Japan and South Korea, and occupied half of the world in the international market of Ni MH batteries; A batch of Chinese battery people have grown up, and the booming Chinese green energy industry will become a strong foundation for national prosperity and national rejuvenation, which is also saturated with Wu Feng's silent dedication.


Attached person profile:

Wu Feng, born in Beijing in 1951, is currently Deputy Director of the academic committee of Beijing Institute of Technology, President of Qiushi Academy, chief professor and doctoral supervisor of Materials College. He is also a member of the Science and Technology Committee of the Ministry of Education, a member of the Science and Technology Committee of China Ordnance Industry group, vice chairman of China Battery Industry Association, vice chairman of China Chemical and Physical Power Industry Association Director and chief scientist in the field of clean energy and power of "Beijing Electric Vehicle Collaborative Innovation Center" of the Ministry of Education (2011 plan), member of the New Energy Vehicle Access Expert Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, editor in chief of Energy Material Advances. From 2002 to 2019, he was appointed by the Ministry of Science and Technology as the chief scientist of the new secondary battery project of the National Key Basic Research (973) Plan for three consecutive periods.

He has published more than 600 SCI papers, obtained more than 100 national invention patents, won the scientific research achievement award of the International Society of Battery Materials (IBA), the outstanding basic and applied research award first issued by the International Association of Automotive Lithium Batteries (IALB), and the Battery Technology Achievement Award of the International Electrochemical Society. This is also the first time that the society has awarded awards to Chinese scholars in more than 20 years. He is elected academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences and Academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials Sciences. Served as director and chief scientist in the field of clean energy and power of "Beijing Electric Vehicle Collaborative Innovation Center" of the Ministry of Education (2011 plan), and member of the New Energy Vehicle Access Expert Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.