February, 2023 | WSU Insider
Biological Systems Engineering professor Shulin Chen has been honored as a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors. He will be inducted formally at the Academy’s annual meeting in June in Washington, D.C.
Chen has produced biochemicals from organic waste using microbial “cell factories,” yeasts that synthesize target biochemicals using metabolic pathways. His team also developed a method for extracting high-value products from potato peels, a waste by-product of potato processing. His method turns phytochemical and nutrient-rich waste into a revenue stream. Chen holds ten U.S. patents for his innovations.
Chen’s research focuses on making industrial processes more sustainable. His projects include development of bioconversion processes and systems for the production of biofuel, bioenergy, and bioproducts. Using anaerobic digestion systems, his research team has invented a process to convert manure and other dairy-industry waste to bioenergy which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His team’s systems also recover nutrients from wastewater, alleviating concerns about surface and groundwater.