The Gene and Linda Voiland School of

Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Yong Wang, Ph.D.
Voiland Distinguished Professor

Dr. Yong Wang

Research Focus: Development of Novel Catalytic Materials and Reaction Engineering for the Conversion of Fossil and Biomass Feedstocks to Fuels and Chemicals

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
1505 Stadium Way, Room 105
P.O. Box 646515
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6515

Dr. Wang’s Research Website at WSU
Office: 153 Wegner Hall
Office Phone: 509-371-6273


Dr. Wang joined PNNL in 1994 and was promoted to Laboratory Fellow in 2005. He led the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Team from 2000 to 2007, and has served as the Associate Director of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis ( since 2008. In 2009, Dr. Wang assumed a joint position at Washington State University and PNNL. In this unique position, he continues to be a Laboratory Fellow and associate director of IIC at PNNL and is the Voiland Distinguished Professor in Chemical Engineering at WSU, an endowed, full professorship with tenure.

Dr. Wang is best known for his leadership in the development of novel catalytic materials and reaction engineering to address the issues related to energy and atom efficiency for converting fossil and biomass feedstocks to fuels and chemicals. Dr. Wang has authored >230 peer reviewed publications with H index=58 and more than 13,800 citations (Google Scholar Citations). He has co-edited 2 books and 6 special journal issues, and given more than 140 invited presentations since 2001. He is the inventor on 256 issued patents including 102 issued U.S. patents (>90% of his patents are licensed to industries). His discoveries in microchannel reaction technologies led to the formation of Velocys, trading under the London Stock Exchange (VLS). He was recently elected to the fellow of National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the member of the Washington State Academy of Science (WSAS), and is a fellow of 4 major professional societies: AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), ACS (American Society of Chemistry), RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry), and AAAS (American Association of the Advancement of Science). He has won numerous awards including 2006 Asian American Engineer of the Year Award, Presidential Green Chemistry Award, 3 R&D 100 Awards, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Chemical Engineering at WSU, 2 PNNL Inventor of the Year Awards, Battelle Distinguished Inventor Award, and the first recipient of PNNL Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award. He is the past chair of the Energy & Fuel Division of the American Chemical Society, and currently serves as the director to the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering division of AIChE and on the editorial board of 7 catalysis and energy related journals including ACS Catalysis, Catalysis Today, Chinese Journal of Catalysis, and Journal of Energy Chemistry.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Washington State University, 1993
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Washington State University, 1992
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Chengdu University of Science and Technology (now Sichuan University), China, 1987
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Chengdu University of Science and Technology (now Sichuan University), China, 1984

Selected Awards, Honors, and Societies

  • Fellow of NAI (National Academy of Inventors) (2015)
  • Fellow of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) (2013)
  • Fellow of RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) (2013)
  • Fellow of ACS (The American Chemical Society) (2010)
  • Fellow of AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science) (2008)
  • Member of Washington State Academy of Science (2015)
  • R&D 100 Award, Fischer-Tropsch fuels using Velocys microchannel technology (2008)
  • R&D 100 Award, full-scale vaporizer for automotive fuel cell fuel processor (1999)
  • R&D 100 Award, production of chemicals from biologically derived succinic acid (1997)
  • Presidential Green Chemistry Award, use of biomass to produce useful chemicals (1999)
  • Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Dept of Chem.Eng., Washington State University (2008)
  • Asian American Engineer of the Year Award (2006)
  • PNNL Inventor of the Year (2006)
  • PNNL Inventor of the Year (2004)
  • Distinguished Battelle Inventor (2004)
  • First recipient of PNNL Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (2005)
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Washington State University (1993)
  • Guest Professor of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Sichuan University (China), Tianjin University, and Dalian University of Technology
  • National Academy of Engineering 2005 Japan-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Japan, 2005
  • 10th National Academy of Engineering Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering, Irvine, CA, September 9–11, 2004
  • Award for Distinguished Oversea Chinese Young Scholars, National Natural Science Foundation of China, hosted by Tsinghua University 2008)
  • “1000 Talent Plan”, China (2009)
  • Scientific advisory board, Center for Environmental Beneficial Catalysis Center, University of Kansas (2011–)
  • Editorial board, ACS Catalysis (2010–present)
  • Editorial board, Catalysis Today (2006–present)
  • Editorial board, Journal of Energy Chemistry (2012–present)
  • Editorial board, Journal of Nanomaterials (2005–present)
  • Editorial board, Biofuel Research Journal (2014-present)
  • Editorial board, Chinese Journal of Catalysis (2014-present)
  • Honorary Chairman of Trends in Renewable Energy (Future Energy Service and Publishing), (2015-present)
  • Chair elect, ACS Petroleum Division (2011)
  • Co-Chair, ACS Energy & Fuel Division (2012)
  • Chair elect, ACS (The American Chemical Society) Petroleum Division (2011)
  • Chair, Program Committee of the ACS Petroleum division (2006 –2008)
  • Director of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) (2015–present)
  • Secretary of Pacific Coast Catalysis Society (2006–2009)

Selected Publications

  1. J.Jones, H.Xiong, A.T.DeLaRiva, E.J.Peterson, H.Pham, S.R.Challa, G.Qi, S.Oh, M.H.Wiebenga, X.Hernández, Y.Wang, A.K.Datye. “Thermallystable single-atom platinum-on-ceria catalysts via atom trapping”, Science, 2016, 353(6295), 150–154. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8800.
  2. J.Sun, R.A.L.Baylon, C.Liu, D.Mei, K.J.Martin, P.Venkitasubramanian, Y.Wang, “Key roles of Lewis acid-base pairs on ZnxZryOz in direct ethanol/acetone to isobutene conversion”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b07401.
  3. J.Sun, A.Karim, X.Li, Y.Shin, L.Kovarik, Y.Wang, “Hierarchicaqlly structured catalysts for cascade and selective steam reforming/Hydrodeoxygenation reactions”, Chem.Comm, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5CC07244A. (inside cover)
  4. H.Zhang, J.Sun, C.Liu, Y.Wang, “Distinct water activation on polar/non-polar facets of ZnO nanoparticles”, Journal of Catalysis, 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2015.08.016.
  5. Y.Li, Z.Wei, F.Gao, L.Korarik, R.Long, C.H.F.Peden, Y.Wang, “Effect of oxygen defects on the catalytic performance of VOx/CeO2 catalysts for oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol”, ACS Catalysis, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/cs502084g.
  6. Z.Wei, A.Karim, Y.Li, D.L.King, Y.Wang, “Elucidation of the roles of Re in steam reforming of glycerol over Pt-Re/C catalysts”, Journal of Catalysis, 2015, 322, 49–59. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2014.11.006. (editor’s choice)
  7. Y.Hong, H. Zhang, J. Sun, A.M. Karim, A.J.R. Henley, M. Gu, M.H. Engelhard, J.S. McEwen, Y. Wang. “Synergistic catalysis between Pd and Fe in gas phase hydrodeoxygenation of m-cresol”, ACS Catalysis, 2014, DOI: 10.1021/cs500578g (cover of the Oct 2014 issue).
  8. C.Liu, H.Wang, A.Karim, J.Sun, Y.Wang. “Advances in catalytic pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass”, Chem.Soc.Rev. 2014, 43(22), 7594-7623 (inside cover of the Nov 2014 issue). DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60414D
  9. Y.Li, Z.Wei, F.Gao, L.Kovarik, C.H.F.Peden, Y.Wang. “Effects of CeO2 Support Facets on VOx/CeO2 Catalysts in Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Methanol”, Journal of Catalysis., 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2014.04.013
  10. J.Sun, Y.Wang. “Review of ethanol conversion to chemicals and fuels”, ACS Catalysis, 2014, DOI: 10.1021/cs4011343. (cover of the April 2014 issue).
  11. J.Kwak, R. Dagel, G. Tustin, J. Zoeller, L. Allard, Y. Wang. “Molecular active sites in heterogeneous Ir-La/C catalyzed carbonylation of methanol to acetates”, J.Phy.Chem.Lett. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/jz402728e
  12. W.Li, L. Kovarik, D. Mei, J. Liu, Y. Wang, C.H.F. Peden. “Anti-sintering Pt nanoparticles stabilized by MgAl2O4 spinel {111} facets”, Nature Communications, 2013, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3481.
  13. J.Sun, A.M. Karim, H. Zhang, L. Kovarik, X. Li, J.S. McEwen, A.J. Hensley, Y. Wang. “Vapor phase hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol on carbon supported metal catalysts”, Journal of Catalysis, 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2013.05.020.
  14. H.Wang, J. Male, Y. Wang. “Recent advances in hydrotreating of pyrolysis bio-oil and its oxygen-containing model compounds”, ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 1047-1070, DOI: 10.1021/cs400069z.
  15. Z.Wei, J. Sun, Y. Li, A.K. Dayte, Y. Wang. “Bimetallic nanocatalysts hydrogen generation”, Chem. Soc. Review 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35201J
  16. S.Park, Y. Shao, J. Liu, Y. Wang. “Oxygen electrocatalysts for water electrolyzers and reversible fuel cells: status and perspective”, Energy & Environmental Science, 2012, 5, 9331–9344. DOI: 10.1039/c2ee22554a
  17. L.Zhang, A.M. Karim, M.H. Engelhard, Z. Wei., D.L. King, Y. Wang. “Correlation of Pt-Re surface property with reaction pathways in aqueous phase reforming of glycerol”, Journal of Catalysis., 2012, 287, 37–43 DOI: 10.1016/j.jact.2011.11.015.
  18. J.Sun, K. Zhu, F. Gao, C. Wang, J. Liu, C.H.F. Peden, Y. Wang. “Direct conversion of bio-ethanol to isobutene on nanosized ZnxZrxOz mixed oxides with balanced acid-base sites”, J.Am.Chem.Soc., 2011, 133(29) 11096–11099, DOI: 10.102/ja204235v
  19. R.Kou, Y. Shao, D. Mei, Z. Mie, D. Wang, C. Wang, V.V. Viswanathan, S. Park, I.A. Aksay, Y. Lin, Y. Wang, J. Liu. “Stabilization of electrocatalysts at metal-metal oxide-graphene triple junction points: an experimental and theoretical study”, J.Am.Chem.Soc., 2011, 133(8): 2541–2547, DOI: 10.1021/ja107719u
  20. J.D.Holladay, Y. Wang, and E.O. Jones. 2004. “Review of Developments in Portable Hydrogen Production Using Microreactor Technology.” Chemical Reviews 104(10):4767–4789. DOI: 10.1021/cr020721b

Research Highlights

Chemical Society Review cover, October 2014

ChemComm has recently highlighted our group’s research in directly converting carboxylic acids were to light olefins with high selectivity over ZnxZryOz.

PDF overview of article featured in ChemComm

ChemComm has highlighted the joint work done at WSU and PNNL in Dr. Wang’s groups about upgrading the pyrolysis vapors of lignocellulosic biomass.

Chemical Society Review cover, October 2014

ACS Catalysis’ July 2015 cover features Wang group work on advanced in situ NMR work on vanadia supported on TiO2 rods.

Chemical Society Review cover, October 2014

Changjun Liu’s work featured on Chemical Society Reviews’ cover - “Catalytic fast pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass”

ACS Catalysis Cover, October 2014

Yongchun Hong’s Pd/Fe catalyst work featured on ACS Catalysis’ cover

Dalton Transactions Cover, August 2014

Junming Sun’s work featured on Dalton Transactions’ cover - “Supported metal catalysts for alcohol/sugar alcohol steam reforming”

ChemCatChem Cover, June 2013

ChemCatChem’s cover features Wang group work on acetone steam reforming over Co catalysts

ACS Catalysis Cover, April 2014

Junming Sun’s review paper was highlighted on the cover of ACS Catalysis - “Recent advances in catalytic conversion of ethanol to chemicals”

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, February 2012

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics’ Feb 2012 cover features the advancement of in situ NMR techniques for mechanistic studies under working conditions

Microreactor Technology and Process Intesification cover - Yong Wang and Jamie Holladay, editors

Professor Yong Wang has co-edited "Microreactor Technology and Process Intensification."

Biomass Processing, Conversion and Biorefinery

Professor Yong Wang has co-edited "Biomass Processing Conversion and Biorefinery."

The Gene & Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, PO Box 646515, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6515, 509-335-4332, Email ChEBE: