(288a) Professor Linda Wang’s Research Group – the Early Years | AIChE

(288a) Professor Linda Wang’s Research Group – the Early Years


Whitley, R. - Presenter, Air Products & Chemicals Inc
As Prof. Wang’s third Ph.D. graduate, I was involved with early establishment of lab and modeling capabilities. Most of my experimental work was determining isotherms and mass transfer by chromatographic breakthrough for amino acids, peptides, and proteins on ion exchange resins. As computing power was quite limited in the late 1980s, modeling of these complicated chromatographic processes required many simplifying assumptions. However, Prof. Wang had a vision of being able to simulate these systems to help design more efficient purifications for the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. I took leadership for development of the new process simulator. I will review the development history of the simulator, which we named VERSE. The program, which is still in use a full 30 years later, gained both fundamental features (isotherms, kinetic models, surface diffusion, reactions) as well as process capabilities (breakthrough, gradient elution, Simulated Moving Bed). Once I was at Air Products, we collaborated on non-biochemical process development. VERSE supported our design of counter-current moving bed processes for efficient lithium ion exchange on zeolites. Along with the technical story, I’ll share some photos and memories about the group.