Tuo Wang Receives ACS Grant to Study Petroleum-Related Materials


Dr. Tuo WangAssistant Professor Tuo Wang, LSU Department of Chemistry

BATON ROUGE, October 27, 2020-  Assistant Professor Tuo Wang received a two-year Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF). The $110,000 grant is for Dr. Wang’s project titled “Atomic Resolution of Kerogen Structure by Natural-Abundance 2D 13C-13C Correlation Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy.”

The ACS-PRF is charged with supporting “advanced scientific education and fundamental research in the petroleum field,” including any area of science that may advance research directly impacting petroleum. The DNI grant supports early stage faculties during the first three years of their independent career.

Wang will conduct exploratory studies to elucidate the structure of kerogen, which is the insoluble organic matter in oil shales. As an important energy source with huge reserves, kerogen has an extremely complex structure. Its structure is highly ambiguous due to the lack of a high-resolution and non-destructive method for characterizing these insoluble and non-crystalline materials.

The Wang group will develop spectroscopic methods to investigate the macromolecular structure of kerogen, with atomic resolution and without the need for isotope-enrichment. The method, once established, will enable many future studies of source rocks and petroleum resources.

Wang group has expertise in spectroscopy as well as carbohydrate and protein research, with funding support from NSF, NIH, and DOE. The ACS grant will allow the Wang group to broaden its research scope and step into the world of organic biomaterials.