The award recognizes “sustained and distinguished contributions” to the field of fuel chemistry. Dr. Wang, an associate professor of chemical engineering, is the first woman to win it.
Wang began her career working on fossil fuels, including devising ways to remove sulfur and nitrogen from crude oil to reduce emissions of air pollutants such nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide.
Dr. Wang converts and upgrades biomass into hydrocarbons that can be used directly as gasoline or as the fuel that powers fuel cells. As one method to obtain hydrogen, she employs a process called solar water splitting, which uses solar energy to peel it away from water molecules.
Wang also researches ways to convert CO2 into useful liquid fuels.
“I’m interested in new materials and one of my specialties is nano-catalytic materials for use in energy production and environmental protection,” she said.
“I study the structure of materials to better understand how that correlates with useful chemical reactions, which I try to improve,” she notes, adding, “My aim is to contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for current and future generations.”
After joining NJIT, Dr. Wang founded and teaches the graduate level course Sustainable Energy.