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WSU Tri-Cities team earns CleanTech Big Picture prize at UW business competition

May 26, 2017 | by Maegan Murray

WSU Tri-Cities Lignin Biotech team

RICHLAND, Wash. – A team from Washington State University Tri-Cities took home the Wells Fargo “CleanTech” Big Picture prize during the University of Washington’s Business Plan Competition this week.

With the award, the team, which includes Libing Zhang, a recent doctoral alumna, and Manuel Seubert and Taylor Pate, who are master’s in business administration students, was presented with a $5,000 check.

“We believe that we performed very well,” Zhang said. “We received extremely positive feedback regarding our business plan and presentation. Each team had a great product and were very convincing. We felt fortunate to be a part of it all.”

[ full article ]

WSU Tri-Cities team in UW business competition ‘sweet 16’

April 28, 2017   |  WSU News

RICHLAND, Wash. – A team from Washington State University Tri-Cities whose business plan is to commercialize a WSU-patented jet fuel technology has advanced to the University of Washington Business Plan Competition’s “sweet 16” round.

The sweet 16 round of the UW Business Plan Competition kicks off May 25.

full article on WSU News ]

 

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge

April 3, 2017  |  WSU News

Manuel Seubert, master’s of business administration student, and Libing Zhang, postdoctoral researcher standing at table with presentation postersRICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities technology and a business plan for converting the plant material lignin into biojet fuel won third place among 21 teams at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge finals last week.

The team of Libing Zhang, postdoctoral researcher, and Manuel Seubert, master’s of business administration student, worked regularly with researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to prepare for the competition. They won the Starbucks $5,000 prize.

[ full article at WSU News ]

New way to characterize cellulose, advance bioproducts

MARCH 23, 2017  |  by Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found a new way to define the molecular structure of cellulose, which could lead to cheaper and more efficient ways to make a variety of crucial bioproducts.

For the first time, researchers revealed the differences between the surface layers and the crystalline core of cellulose by combining spectroscopy processes that use infrared and visible laser beams to analyze the structure of molecular components. The findings appear this month in Scientific Reports, an online open-access journal produced by the Nature Publishing Group (http://www.nature.com/articles/srep44319).

[ full article at WSU News ]

Grant funds test of market potential for jet fuel research

December 1, 2016 | WSU News, by  Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities have been awarded a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the market potential of their biojet fuel research.

The team has successfully demonstrated a new, water-based process for deconstructing and recovering lignin from biomass and converting it into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons. These could be certified as jet fuel in the future.

Bin Yang, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of biological systems engineering and principal investigator for the grant, holds a patent on the process.

[full article in WSU News]

Student works to boost renewable energy in Philippines

September 28, 2016| Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

In Elmar Villota’s home country of the Philippines, as much as 15 percent of households do not have electricity. Villota, a doctoral student in biological systems engineering at Washington State University Tri-Cities, is motivated to close that gap with renewable energy.

“A simple light bulb could make a world of difference,” he said. “Without a sustainable source of electricity, students can’t have light or read comfortably at night. Imagine how much knowledge they would miss.”

[read full article in WSU News]

WSU faculty member presents at National Advance Biofuels Conference and Expo

Biodiesel Magazine, by Ron Kotrba | August 24, 2016

An in-depth review of the National Advanced Biofuels Conference

For the first time ever, the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo was co-located with the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo in 2016, a conference pairing that will become the norm for event organizer BBI International. The conferences were held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with sessions running June 21-22. NABCE included two tracks, with one focused entirely on cellulosic ethanol, and the second on biodiesel and other advanced biofuels. Track two, the focal point of this review, included presentations on biojet fuel, biogas and biodiesel.

Bin Yang with Washington State University discussed biojet fuel from lignin. He said lignin from biomass is currently used for electricity and steam production, but through a process of depolymerization and defragmentation followed by catalytic upgrading, the material is suited for jet fuel feedstock. [read full article]

Biowaste-to-jet fuel

Discovery advances biowaste-to-jet fuel research

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Dr. Bin Yng
Dr. Bin Yang

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities have figured out a way to successfully convert a common wood byproduct into hydrocarbon molecules that could be used as jet fuel. [read full article]


Treated with care: Analyzing a new pre-treatment process for biofuel production

By Jon Evans, SeparationsNow.com, Dec 14, 2015

Next-generation biofuels: The biofuel industry is placing great store in the next-generation of biofuels produced from general plant biomass such as straw and wood rather than from food crops such as corn and wheat. The big remaining stumbling block is that although the technology exists for converting plant biomass into biofuels,… [read full article]


Breakthrough WSU invention to turn forests into jet fuel

By Steve Wilhelm, Seattle Techflash, Dec 1, 2015

Just as world leaders are struggling to throttle back climate change at the Paris summit, researchers at Washington State University are honing a new method to turn wood fibers into jet fuel for Boeing (NYSE: BA) jets.

The research, led by Associate Professor Bin Yang, has progressed far enough that it is featured on the cover of the December issue of Green Chemistry, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry based in the United Kingdom.

[read full article]

NSF Conference Grant Awarded

NSF conference grant awarded our student for The Science and Engineering for a Bio-based Industry and Economy (S1041) Annual Meeting and Symposium in Ohio

RICHLAND, Wash. – Libing Zhang, a doctoral candidate at Washington State University Tri-Cities, is awarded for S-1041 Annual Meeting and Symposium located in Ohio State University during August 10-11, 2015. She is one of 24 awarded students mostly studied in Agricultural and Biological Engineering program from 12 universities in United States.

Currently, she is pursuing her PhD degree majoring in Biological Systems Engineering at WSU. Her supervisor is Dr. Bin Yang, associate professor who focuses his research on biomass processing to cellulosic and lignin fuels and bioproducts. She will present her research work in the lignocellulosic biomass aqueous fractionation to produce sugars and lignin for catalysis upgrading to jet fuel.

“I really appreciate NSF grant for providing me this great opportunity. It will broaden my knowledge and benefit for my career.” She Says.

WSU Tri-Cities Announces Student Research Grants

July 10, 201 5| Tri-City Herald

Five students at Washington State University Tri-Cities will receive grants as part of the Chancellor’s Summer Scholars Program at the university.

The program allows students to be mentored by a faculty member and work on a project to prepare them for a career in a science, technology, engineering and math field, a news release said.

Three of the $3,000 grants are being covered by Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions:

  • Demi Galindo, a pre-medicine student is working with faculty members Elly Sweet and Jim Cooper on a developmental genetics project, which is part of a larger effort to understand human developmental disorders that cause skull deformities.
  • Joseph Traverso will build a robotic arm and investigate the capabilities of such a device with assistant professor Changki Mo.
  • Christopher Smith, mentored by associate professor Bin Yang, will look at developing a way to break down industrial waste created from a biomass conversion methods by using aerobic bacteria.

The other two grants will go to:

  • Logan Wickham, a freshman, who will work with assistant professor Nikos Voulgarakis on a project modeling nanoscale fluid-solid interfaces.
  • Jesus Madrigal’s investigation of why some biomass resist being broken down by enzymes in collaboration with assistant professor Xiao Zhang.
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