N.-H. Linda Wang is the Maxine Spencer Nichols professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. She received her B.S. from the National Taiwan University (1971), M.S. from the University of Wyoming (1973), and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (1978), all in Chemical Engineering. She began her teaching and research at Purdue in 1980. She is a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2000) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2011).
She contributed many high impact papers for the modeling and understanding of multi-component adsorption and reaction phenomena in chromatography and Simulated Moving Beds (SMBs). She is internationally known for her invention of the Standing Wave Design method for multi-component chemical and biochemical separations and the constant-pattern design method of ligand-assisted chromatography for the purification of rare earth elements. Her group developed the first separation methods to recover pristine polycarbonate and flame retardants from electronic polymer waste, and a hydrothermal processing method to convert polyolefin waste into hydrocarbon mixtures, including waxes, gasoline or diesel fuels, and other useful products. Her separation and conversion methods have the potential for converting about 70% of the plastic waste, reducing the need of crude oil for plastics or fuels, and reducing CO2 emissions by 1-6 tons per ton of plastic waste converted. Her work received global publicity this year and was featured in over 100 major news outlets, including the International Business Times, Bloomberg News, and Reuters. The new technologies hold great promise for reducing the fast growing plastic waste and its serious threats to the environment.