Chemistry  
 

Focus on Li-Heng Chen, Professor of Chemistry

 
Li-Heng Chen
Li-Heng Chen
201 Albertus Hall
(616) 632-2187
E-mail: chenli@aquinas.edu
 
Educational Background
B.A. Chemistry
National Taiwan University
M.S. Chemistry
SUNY - Stony Brook

Ph.D. Chemistry
Texas A&M

Professor
Aquinas College
1983 - present
 
Li-Heng Chen has taught the following Aquinas College courses:
CY101
Environmental Chemistry
CY211
Organic Chemistry I
CY102
Chemistry for Non-Majors

CY311

Physical Chemistry I

CY111L
General Chemistry I Lab

CY312

Physical Chemistry II

CY112
General Chemistry II
 CY400/401
Undergraduate Research
 
Research Interests
I am interested in studying the chemical conversion of scrap rubber tires to useful ion exchange polymers by utilizing the well-established technologies of functionalizing styrene rings in polymer matrix. The use of ion exchange polymers to remove and recover metal ions is an important environmental remediation technique in industrial wastewater treatment. The most commonly used ion exchangers are polystyrene-based cross-linked copolymers. Currently 70% of synthetic tires made from styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) are discarded in landfills.
Many polymers have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic terminal groups. Modification of these groups should result in changing the solubility and expanding the application of the polymers. A large proportion of the simple reactions in organic chemistry have never been tried on commercially available polymers. One of my other research goals is to explore these reactions; for example, esterification of the sulfate end of amberlites or hydrolysis of polyvinylpyrrolidone followed by reacting with diepoxides.
Another of my interests is in obtaining the complete vibrational spectrum of compounds (especially nitrogen oxides, polymers, and superconductors) by means of Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and laser Raman spectrometry, and then doing the vibrational assignment of the spectra and force constant calculation to more fully understand the vibrational motion and bonding of the molecule.
The addition of nitric acid changes the color of an egg. Do other acids produce similar effects on eggs? Will egg white and egg yolk react differently, perhaps giving two different colors? What is the minimum concentration of acid which will result in the color change? Does the color change more quickly under certain conditions? This project should produce a better understanding of the mechanism of the observed reaction.
 
Professional Memberships
American Chemical Society

Phi Lambda Upsilon, Honorary Chemical Society