image of Nirala Singh

Nirala Singh

Assistant Professor


(734) 764-1571


Chemical Engineering

B-28 NCRC 2050W
2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Primary Website


PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, 2015

BSE, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2009

Research Interests

Energy Storage, Renewable Fuels and Waste Remediation

Our lab focuses on improving electrochemical processes to effectively use renewable electricity. Many renewable energy sources (solar, wind, etc.) provide electricity, but without an efficient or cost-effective method to convert the electricity to useful or storable products. Our goal is to develop processes to store energy, produce useful products such as transportation fuels or industrially-needed chemicals, and clean up waste streams varying from agricultural to low level nuclear waste. This includes experimental catalysis, electrocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis, focusing on understanding how to drive reactions efficiently and selectively.

Current research thrusts focus on:

To address these, we will develop new materials, find links between heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis, and use in situ spectroscopy of catalysts/electrocatalysts under operating conditions to better understand surface chemical reactions.


Professional Experience

University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Assistant Professor, 2017-

University of Washington Clean Energy Institute and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

WRF Innovation Fellow, 2016-1017
Post Doctorate Research Scientist, 2015-2017
Advisors: Charles Campbell and Johannes Lercher

University of California-Santa Barbara

PhD Candidate, 2010-2015
Advisors: Eric W. McFarland and Horia Metiu

Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation
University of Queensland-Brisbane, QLD

Staff, Summer 2014

Air Products and Chemicals
Energy Technology R&D
Allentown, PA

Intern, Summer 2013

Transphorm, Inc.
Santa Barbara, CA

Intern, January 2010-August 2010
Intern, Summer, 2009


1st Place Perfect Pitch-Clean Energy Institute-University of Washington, 2016

Washington Research Foundation Innovation Fellowship-University of Washington, 2016-2018

Air Products and Chemicals Fellowship-UC-Santa Barbara, 2013

ConvEne IGERT Fellowship-UC-Santa Barbara, 2011

Heslin Fellowship-UC-Santa Barbara, 2010

James B. Angell Scholar-University of Michigan-March, 2009


Recent Journal Articles

  1. Recent discoveries in the reaction mechanism of heterogeneous electrocatalytic nitrate reduction, Z. Wang, D. Richards, N. Singh, Catalysis Science & Technology, 2021, just accepted manuscript.
  2. Increasing Electrocatalytic Nitrate Reduction Activity by Controlling Adsorption through PtRu Alloying, Z. Wang, S.D. Young, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, Journal of Catalysis, 2021, just accepted manuscript.
  3. The Effect of Anion Bridging on Heterogeneous Charge Transfer for V2+/V3+, H. Agarwal, J. Florian, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, Cell Reports Physical Science, 2021, in press.
  4. Temperature Dependence of Aqueous-Phase Phenol Adsorption on Pt and Rh, J. Akinola, N. Singh, Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 2020, just accepted manuscript.
  5. Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Biomass-Derived Organics: A Review, S. A. Akhade, N. Singh, O. Y. Gutiérrez, J. Lopez-Ruiz, H. Wang, J. D. Holladay, Y. Liu, A. Karkamkar, R. S. Weber, A. B. Padmaperuma, M. S. Lee, G. A. Whyatt, M. Elliott, J. E. Holladay, J. L. Male, J. A. Lercher, R. Rousseau, V. A. Glezakou, Chemical Reviews, 2020, 120, 11370-11419.[Review]
  6. Structures and Free Energies of Cerium Ions in Acidic Electrolytes, C. A. Buchanan, E. Ko, S. Cira, M. Balasubramanian, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, Inorganic Chemistry, 2020, 59, 12552-12563.
  7. Adsorption Energies of Oxygenated Aromatics and Organics on Rhodium and Platinum in Aqueous Phase, J. Akinola, I. Barth, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, ACS Catalysis, 2020, Just Accepted Manuscript.
  8. Role of Electrocatalysis in the Remediation of Water Pollutants, N. Singh, B.R. Goldsmith, ACS Catalysis, 2020, 10, 3365-3371.
  9. Aqueous phase catalytic and electrocatalytic hydrogenation of phenol and benzaldehyde over platinum group metals, N. Singh, U. Sanyal, G. Ruehl, K. Stoerzinger, O. Y. Gutiérrez, D. M. Camaioni, J. L. Fulton, J. A. Lercher, C. T. Campbell, Journal of Catalysis, 2020, 382, 372-384.
  10. V2+/V3+ Redox Kinetics on Glassy Carbon in Acidic Electrolytes for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries, H. Agarwal, J. Florian, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, ACS Energy Letters, 2019, 4, 2368-2377.
  11. A Simple Bond-Additivity Model Explains Large Decreases in Heats of Adsorption in Solvents Versus Gas Phase: A Case Study with Phenol on Pt(111) in Water, N. Singh and C. T. Campbell, ACS Catalysis, 2019, 9, 8116-8127.
  12. Activity and Selectivity Trends in Electrocatalytic Nitrate Reduction on Transition Metals, J.X. Liu, D. Richards, N. Singh, B.R. Goldsmith, ACS Catalysis, 2019, 9, 7052-7064.
  13. Adsorption Energies of Oxygenated Aromatics and Organics on Rhodium and Platinum in Aqueous Phase, J. Akinola, I. Barth, B.R. Goldsmith, N. Singh, ACS Catalysis, 2020, 10, 4929-4941.