Corporate Affiliates alumnus' research in China's energy sector

A China Southern jet takes off over Dalian apartment buildings, Oct. 2009. Corporate Affiliates alumnus Xuteng Hu has recently led a successful biojet fuel project in Beijing. Flickr/Dmitry Klimenko

China possesses vast coal reserves, and coal accounts for 70 percent of the country’s total energy consumption—3 billion tons per year. But China also consumes oil, natural gas, and an increasing amount of renewable energy.

Xuteng HuXuteng Hu, a Corporate Affiliates Visiting Fellow Program alumnus (2007–08), manages energy and materials development projects at PetroChina’s Petrochemical Research Institute in Beijing, where he serves as vice president.

Hu received his master’s and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University. 

PetroChina, one of China’s largest energy companies, has recently developed its own biojet fuel. The company is also researching other renewable energy technologies, including biofuel made from plant fiber.

During his year at Stanford University, Hu conducted research on the governance of China’s state-owned enterprises, focusing on energy companies like PetroChina, Sinopec, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. He also studied strategies for the development and promotion of different forms of energy, ranging from coal to chemicals and oil to natural gas. Jean C. Oi, a political science professor and director of the Stanford China Program, served as Hu’s research advisor.

Since returning to China three years ago, Hu has managed the research and development of synthetic petroleum-based materials, and the construction of major pilot petrochemical plants. Perhaps most exciting of all, the biojet fuel project he led conducted a successful demonstration flight in October.

Of his time at Stanford, Hu says: “My experiences helped me think about corporate governance structure, energy development, and other issues related closely to my work from different perspectives, such as culture and society. It also enhanced my understanding of cultural and business exchanges between China and the West.”