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Doctoral Student Recognized for Research in Reducing Emissions


Lamar University doctoral student Jialan Xu was awarded second place at the 2018 Chinese American Petroleum Association’s Petroleum and Petrochemical Technical Symposium in Houston for her research on ‘Plant-Wide Scheduling for Profitable Emission Reduction in Petroleum Refineries’. She presented her research alongside work conducted by students from Rice University, University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Harvard University. For placing second overall, she was awarded a check for three hundred dollars and a certificate.

“The symposium was exciting," Xu said. "It was a great opportunity to represent my school and to show other researchers the important work being conducted here.”

Her research focuses on cost-effective solutions to cutting emissions in refinery plants. Research that she says is timely and important in both the Southeast Texas area and beyond.

“The common knowledge many follow states that if you make some efforts to reduce emissions, somehow profits will be reduced by taking on more cost. But we developed a plant model to achieve a reduction in emissions without a reduction in profit. This is a very interesting concept and idea,” said Xu.

Because of the importance of her research, Xu says that it is something she will be pursuing into the future.

“In my group we have several different projects going at once and this is the one I have chosen for my dissertation. We are doing a process simulation and augmentation for a refinery plant and will be conducting further research and observations on the model. I am graduating next May so I suppose other students will pick up on this work but for me it is something that is not yet finished,” said Xu.