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Student’s research draws industry interest

December 02, 2009

Ting Pang, an Arizona State University senior chemical engineering student, has drawn international attention for her research after her recent project presentation at a major chemicals industry conference.  

Only well-established researchers typically are invited to make presentations at the annual Sulfur International Conference, but an exception was made for Pang, said Jerry Lin, a professor in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical and Materials Engineering, a part of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The conference is the main annual event for the sulphur industry, hosted by leaders in the metals and mining, power and cables, fertilizer and chemicals industries.

Pang’s project, “A New Process for Sulphuric Acid Production,” is attracting interest because of its potentially major significance for those industries, Lin said. Sulphuric acid is one of the most important inorganic chemicals, and is widely used in phosphate processing, petrochemicals production, mining and many other industries.

Pang's project involves a new sulphuric acid production process using pure oxygen as the oxidant. Conventional processes emit significant amounts of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, resulting in pollution that poses environmental problems and legal risks for companies.

Pang is proposing a new process that recycles the gases that result from sulphuric acid production process and reduces the pollution effects.
The Bayer Corporation and MECS Company are among those showing particular interest in her work, Pang said.

She has applied for a patent on the new production process and also is applying for awards for technology advancement and new inventions from the government of her homeland in China’s Sichuan Province.

Pang began her undergraduate studies at Sichaun University before transferring to ASU.