EAST GREENSBORO, NC (April 28, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and The Chemours Company have agreed to work together over the next three years to expand research, education and coaching opportunities for faculty and graduate students in areas related to chemistry and chemistry to improve chemical engineering.
The company will fund faculty-led research proposals of mutual interest that will be jointly selected following the university’s annual call for proposals. The funding will also support at least one PhD student for each project, and the research team will have access to coaching from Chemours scientists and engineers. Additionally, A&T and Chemours have agreed to seek extracurricular funding that could support the establishment of a water treatment center of excellence, among other initiatives.
“NC A&T is known for producing strong STEM graduates from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are excited to be collaborating with Chemours on challenging new engineering programs that will advance research with the potential to benefit people everywhere,” said Eric Muth, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. “By working with our distinguished faculty, our students will also benefit from the interaction and mentoring of Chemours’ leading scientists. We look forward to opening new opportunities to advance our research and academic programming in alignment with our land grant mission.”
This partnership builds on Chemours’ previous scholarship support for A&T students and the company’s 2030 corporate responsibility goals, which include a commitment to reduce process emissions of fluorinated organic chemicals by 99% or more.
“Chemours is a company focused on innovation, sustainable solutions and committed to responsible manufacturing. We are excited to partner with a leader like NC A&T to help advance new research to meet global needs now and in the days to come,” said Randal King, Vice President of Technology at Chemours. “NC A&T students represent the future of chemistry, and we have been fortunate to fund scholarships for several students at the university through our Future of Chemistry Scholarship Program and the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative. This agreement is a natural next step in our relationship and we look forward to deepening our partnership with NC A&T and engaging with their faculty and students.”
North Carolina A&T is uniquely positioned to contribute to this partnership and goal of advancing new science in water treatment because it hosts leading experts in multiple disciplines across campus whose research interests explore and address PFAS or other environmental challenges.
For example, the research of Dongyang “Sunny” Deng, Ph.D. an associate professor in the Department of the Built Environment at the College of Science and Technology, includes a focus on “physical, chemical and biological development of wastewater treatment technologies and release and fate of chemicals in the environment”.
Deng previously received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award during a university celebration of faculty excellence. The US Environmental Protection Agency also invited them to review “a new pollutant proposal regarding PFAS in agricultural wastewater.”
Renzun Zhao, Ph.D., an assistant professor of environmental engineering at the College of Engineering, has research goals to “promote environmental sustainability through understanding the complex water-energy interrelationship and mitigating the environmental impacts of industrial activities, with a focus on water/effluent and solid/hazardous waste. ”
In addition, Zhao mentored Myles Greer, a civil engineering student, for his project that was selected for Virginia Tech’s 2021 Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship Challenge project, which focused on the nanoscale reuse of coal fly ash.
Zhao recently received an Environmental Enhancement Grant from NC Attorney General Josh Stein to lead a project that will focus in part on characterizing, measuring the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen and removing dissolved organic nitrogen found in liquid waste generated at landfills in eastern North Carolina.
Niroj Aryal, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES), focuses in part on emerging pollutants, watershed and stormwater management. He and other CAES colleagues recently published “A Review on Constructed Treatment Wetlands for Removal of Pollutants in the Agricultural Runoff” in Sustainability.
Finally, EPO Administrator Michael S. ReganGraduated from CAES with a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences, last fall announced the agency’s roadmap to combat PFAS contamination and implement a new testing strategy for PFAS manufacturers nationwide.
About The Chemours Company
The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) is a global leader in titanium technologies, thermal and specialty solutions, and advanced performance materials, providing customers with solutions across a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise, and chemistry-based innovation. We deliver tailored solutions across a wide range of industrial and specialty chemicals for markets including coatings, plastics, refrigeration & air conditioning, transportation, semiconductor & consumer electronics, general industry and oil & gas. Our flagship products include well-known brands such as Ti-Pure™, Opteon™, Freon™, Teflon™, Viton™, Nafion™ and Krytox™. The company has approximately 6,400 employees and 29 manufacturing facilities serving approximately 3,200 customers in approximately 120 countries. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC. For more information, we invite you to visit chemours.com or follow us on Twitter @chemours or LinkedIn.