Cleaner water, more efficient electricity among UH chemical research

August 22, 2004

HOUSTON - A half dozen University of Houston researchers will be making presentations, ranging from bacteria removal in water and quantum shuttles in electricity to defining career moments, at the 228th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Aug. 22 to 26 in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1876, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit, scientific, educational organization. Chartered by the U.S. Congress and the largest scientific society in the world, ACS is a leader in fostering chemical education and research, with an international membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers.

Four members of the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Department of Chemistry and two members of the UH Cullen College of Engineering (CCoE) Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering round out the University of Houston attendees.

  • Shankar Chellam, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will focus on mechanisms of bacteria removal from drinking water supplies using microfiltration membranes, with an emphasis on filter clogging.
  • Eric Bittner, professor of chemistry, will speak about theoretical models for current-driven chemical dynamics in molecular wires.
  • Randolph Thummel, professor of chemistry, will discuss how transition metal complexes are being designed and synthesized that would use sunlight to promote the catalytic decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti, associate professor of chemical engineering, will reveal the development of super-strength and lightweight fibers of nylon and other polyester-based polymers, as well as development of a new class of biodegradable and biocompatible polymer composites with enhanced mechanical properties that are lightweight for potential applications in biomedical devices and drug delivery using carbon nanotubes.
  • P. Shiv Halasyamani, assistant professor of chemistry, will talk about the importance of seeking out mentors at every stage in one's scientific career, as well as discussing the rewarding experience of being a mentor.
  • Ruifa Zong, post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department, will elaborate on Thummel's research, particularly how transition metal complexes assist in the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity.

  • A schedule of the presenters and presentations follows:

    "Microfiltration of bacterial suspensions: Rejection and fouling"
    Shankar Chellam and Wendong Xu, CCoE Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UH
    Division of Environmental Chemistry - Paper #143
    Symposium Honoring Prof. Charles O'Melia: Membrane Fouling and Water Treatment
    1:40 - 5:10 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24
    Loews -- Commonwealth C

    "Quantum shuttles"
    Eric R Bittner, NSM Department of Chemistry at UH
    Division of Physical Chemistry - Paper #130
    Quantum/Classical Calculations in Chemistry and Biophysics: Clusters and Materials
    1:20 - 5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 23
    Pennsylvania Convention Center -- 103C

    "Looking for photooxidation of a Ru(II) polypyridine aqua complex as a first step in water decomposition"
    Randolph P. Thummel and Ruifa Zong. NSM Department of Chemistry at UH
    Division of Organic Chemistry - Paper #36
    Molecular Mimicry of Photosynthesis
    1:40 - 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 22
    Pennsylvania Convention Center -- Ballroom B

    "Crystallization behavior of poly(å-caprolactone) in single wall carbon nanotube composites"
    Cynthia A. Mitchell and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, CCoE Department of Chemical Engineering at UH
    Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering - Paper #492
    Semicrystalline Polymers: Semicrystalline Nanocomposites
    1:30 - 5:05 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25
    Marriott -- Salon G

    "Good mentors = Successful and rewarding careers"
    P. Shiv Halasyamani, NSM Department of Chemistry at UH
    Younger Chemists Committee - Paper #7
    Defining Moments That Lead to Successful Careers in Chemistry
    8 - 10:25 a.m., Monday, Aug. 23
    Loews -- Washington C

    "A tetradentate polypyridine chelate: Constraining quaterpyridine by incorporating 1,10-phenanthroline"
    Ruifa Zong, Gang Zhang, and Randolph P. Thummel, NSM Department of Chemistry at UH
    Division of Inorganic Chemistry - Paper #150
    Coordination Chemistry
    7 - 10 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 22
    Pennsylvania Convention Center -- Hall D
    About the University of Houston
    The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

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