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Wan-Ting Chen

IMAGE OF Wan Ting Chen
Dr. Wan-Ting (Grace) ChenAssistant Professor

Research Interests

Plastic recycling, biomass conversion, reaction engineering, technoeconomic and lifecycle analyses, chemical and biological recycling of plastics, renewable plastics and additives synthesis, lifecycle assessment and technoeconomic analyses of organic waste treatment technologies


  • Postdoc: Chemical Engineering, (2018), Purdue University
    Supporting Area: Plastic Recycling
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Conversion of Plastic Waste into Pristine Polymers, Clean Fuels and Monores for a Sustainable Future
  • Ph D: Agricultural & Biological Engineering, (2017), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Supporting Area: Biomass Conversion
  • MS: Agricultural & Biological Engineering, (2013), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Supporting Area: Biomass Conversion
  • BS: Chemical Engineering, (2011), National Taiwan University


Prior to joining the faculty at Lowell, Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen is a postdoc research associate in the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Grace received her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the National Taiwan University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois. Grace’s PhD research work focused on developing a synergistically integrated waste-to-fuel system that simultaneously produces biofuel and treats wet biowaste via algae growth and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). In particularly, Grace’s PhD work contributes to the area of upgrading complex HTL biocrude oil converted from biowaste into transportation fuels by distillation, esterification, and catalytic treatments. Grace’s ongoing work focuses on valorization of plastic waste into useful products, including pristine polymers, fuels, specialty chemicals, and monomers.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding contribution in reviewing for Algal Research (2018), Service, Professional - Elsevier
  • Outstanding contribution in reviewing for Bioresource Technology (2017), Service, Professional - Elsevier
  • AIChE’s Women’s Initiatives Committee (WIC) Travel Award (2016), Scholarship/Research - AICHE
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2016), Scholarship/Research - University of Illinois
  • Mavis Future Faculty Fellowship (2016), Teaching - University of Illinois
  • Selected participants of Purdue Prospective Faculty Workshop (2016), Scholarship/Research - Purdue University
  • First place of Collegiate Technical Poster Competition in SWE14 Annual Conference (2014), Scholarship/Research - SWE
  • ERM Foundation Sustainable Fellowship (2013), Scholarship/Research - ERM Foundation
  • Second place of Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award (2013), Scholarship/Research - ASABE

Selected Publications

  • Chen, W., Jin, K. (Purdue University), Wang, N. (Purdue University) (2019). Use of Supercritical Water for the Liquefaction of Polypropylene into Oil. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 7(4) 3749–3758.
  • Chen, W., Zhang, Y., Lee, T.H., Wu, Z., Si, B., Lee, C.F., Lin, A., Sharma, B.K. (2018). Renewable diesel blendstocks produced by hydrothermal liquefaction of wet biowaste. Nature Sustainability, 1(11) 702.
  • Chen, W., Qian, W., Zhang, Y., Mazur, Z., Kuo, C., Scheppe, K., Schideman, L.C., Sharma, B.K. (2017). Effect of ash on hydrothermal liquefaction of high-ash content algal biomass. Algal Research, 25 297--306.
  • Zhang, Y., Chen, W. (2017). Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Protein-Containing Feedstocks (pp. 127--168). Woodhead Publishing
  • Chen, W., Tang, L., Qian, W., Scheppe, K., Nair, K., Wu, Z., Gai, C., Zhang, P., Zhang, Y. (2016). Extract Nitrogen-Containing Compounds in Biocrude Oil Converted from Wet Biowaste via Hydrothermal Liquefaction. ACS Sustainable Chemistry \& Engineering, 4(4) 2182--2190.
  • Chen, W., Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Schideman, L., Yu, G., Zhang, P., Minarick, M. (2014). Co-liquefaction of swine manure and mixed-culture algal biomass from a wastewater treatment system to produce bio-crude oil. Applied Energy, 128 209--216.
  • Chen, W., Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Yu, G., Schideman, L.C., Zhang, P., Minarick, M. (2014). Hydrothermal liquefaction of mixed-culture algal biomass from wastewater treatment system into bio-crude oil. Bioresource technology, 152 130--139.
  • Chen, W., Ma, J., Zhang, Y., Gai, C., Qian, W. (2014). Physical pretreatments of wastewater algae to reduce ash content and improve thermal decomposition characteristics. Bioresource technology, 169 816--820.
  • Chen, W., Lin, C., Shih, P., Chang, W. (2012). Adsorption of phosphate into waste oyster shell: thermodynamic parameters and reaction kinetics. Desalination and Water Treatment, 47(1-3) 86-95.

Selected Presentations

  • Integrated Bio-Refineries of Biocrude Oil Converted from Wet Bio-Waste Via Hydrothermal Liquefaction into Drop-in Fuel and Value-Added Chemical - American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) Annual Meeting, November 2015 - Salt Lake City, UT
  • Mitigation of Nitrogen-containing compounds in Bio-crude Oils by Serial Extraction - American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual Meeting, July 2014 - Montreal, QC
  • Screen Pretreatment for Improvement of Bio-crude oil Quality Converted from Mixed-culture Algal Biomass from Wastewater Treatment System - American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual Meeting, July 2014 - Montreal, QC
  • Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Wastewater Algae Mixtures into Bio-crude Oil - Division of Energy & Fuels, American Chemical Society, 2013 - Indianapolis, IN
  • Assessment of Converting Waste-fed Algae into Biocrude Oil via Hydrothermal Liquefaction: Product Distribution, Composition and Characterization - American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual Meeting, July 2013 - Kansas City, MO
  • Product Distribution of Hydrothermal Conversion for Two Types of Algae and Mixtures with Swine Manure - American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual Meeting, August 2012 - Dallas, TX