By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Washington State University Professor Bin Yang’s work creating plant-based fuels that are easier on the environment and the pocketbook has earned him international recognition from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Yang is now one of the newest Fellows of the institute, a professional society of more than 60,000 scientists in 110 countries. He will be honored at the institute’s annual meeting, Nov. 5–10, at Orlando, Fla.
“I take nature as my inspiration,” said Yang, who works to understand and develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts from plant biomass — crops and plant residue used to create energy — while sharing knowledge and training the next generation of scientists.
“My ultimate goal is a real sustainability revolution,” he said. “I’m working to develop sustainable low-carbon fuels that reduce climate change.”
Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the institute, which fosters exchange on the frontiers of research in energy, sustainability, nanotechnology, and chemical plant safety and security. Fellows provide guidance and contribute to activities aiding development of safe and useful products for the benefit of society.
“I’m humbled and deeply grateful for this award,” said Yang, who thanked peers and colleagues who supported his nomination.
Involved with AIChE for the past 20 years, he has been a volunteer leader, organizing topical sessions and serving as a session chair. He is one of three WSU scientists to be named Fellows of the Institute. Yong Wang and Richard Zollars, faculty in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, were previously named Fellows.
Based at WSU Tri-Cities for over a decade, Yang has pioneered new technologies to process biomass into jet fuel, bioplastics, carbon fiber, supercapacitors, hydrogen carriers, and other bioproducts.
“Biofuels and bioproducts play a crucial role in decarbonization efforts by promoting sustainable alternatives to fossil-based products and processes,” Yang said. “Innovation is key to achieving a sustainable future for the world.”
A member of the university’s Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), Yang also studies how microbes can produce a biodegradable plastic. He was a 2019 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Energy and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources; holds six patents; has authored more than 135 papers and book chapters; and serves as an editorial and advisory board member for leading biorefinery journals.
Learn more about Yang’s work at his research site.