UC Discoveries Are Among Top Research and Future Technologies Presented at National Science Meeting

University of Cincinnati research out of the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) will be among topics examining health, energy and the environment at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 246th National Meeting & Exposition, Sept. 8-12, in Indianapolis.

The annual meeting is themed “Chemistry in Motion.”

The UC research is among 7,200 presentations and discoveries reflecting fields where chemistry plays a central role.

UC discoveries also will parallel the “Chemistry in Motion” theme, as UC researchers explore how an ingredient in our old coffee grounds might someday serve as a viable energy resource.

Other UC research examines issues relating to our water supply, issues of global concern. Here are some of the highlights:

Green Chemistry:  Reusing Coffee Grounds to Produce Biodiesel

For many of us, it’s the fuel that wakes us up and gets us started on our day. Now, UC researchers are discovering that an ingredient in our old coffee grounds might someday serve as a cheaper, cleaner fuel for our cars, furnaces and other energy sources.  

Presenter:  Yang Liu, environmental engineering doctoral student
Researchers:  Yang Liu, Qingshi Tu, a UC doctoral student in environmental engineering, and Mingming Lu, a UC associate professor of environmental engineering.

Revealing the Intermediates and Pathways of Microcystin-LR Degradation Under Visible Light TiO2 Photocatalysis

The research examines sustainable methods of using visible light to treat cyanobacteria-generated toxins in the world's drinking water. Cyanobacteria can create large and potentially toxic algal blooms in fresh and marine waters. The presentation will be given at 9:35 a.m., Sept. 9, as part of that day's morning oral session, titled "Green Chemistry and the Environment."

Presenter:  Dion D. Dionysiou, a UC professor of environmental engineering
Researchers: Joel M. Andersen, CEAS graduate student, and Dionysiou

Degradation Mechanisms During the Removal of the Emerging Cyanobacterial Toxin Cylindrospermopsin by Advanced Oxidation

The research examines water purification through oxidization to remove cylindrospermopsin, a recently detected cyanobacterial toxin. Algal blooms with this toxin can negatively affect aquatic biosystems and human health. The presentation will be given at 10:35 a.m., Sept. 12, as part of that day's morning oral session, titled "Fate and Toxicology of Emerging Environmental Contaminants."

Presenter: Xuexiang He, CEAS graduate student
Researchers: He; Armah A. de la Cruz of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research Laboratory in Cincinnati; Dion D. Dionysiou, UC professor of environmental engineering, in collaboration with NIREAS-International Water Research Center at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Photochemical Degradation of Pharmaceuticals and Other Emerging Contaminants From Drinking Water or Wastewater by Homogeneous (stable solutions) UV-254-nm Based Advanced Oxidation Processes

Advance oxidation processes are a set of chemical treatment procedures that remove water toxicants by oxidation through reactions with hydroxyl radicals. Hydroxyl radicals are highly reactive with many pollutants rendering them inactive and harmless, are often short-lived and are produced during the UV light separation of peroxides.

Researcher: Xiaodi Duan, doctoral student in environmental engineering

Impacts of the Interaction of Silver Nanoparticles with Microbial Biofilm

Studying the interaction between silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) and biofilms will help to better understand the fate and transport of Ag-NPs in the environment and evaluate its risks to aquatic ecosystems.

Researcher: Hengye Jing, environmental engineering doctoral student

Nanostructured Titanium Dioxide-Based Photocatalysts for Drinking Water Treatment

The research examines ways to enhance the efficiency of treating drinking water by changing the structure of photocatalytic materials, such as titanium dioxide. Photocatalysis is a chemical reaction accelerated through the absorption of light. The presentation will be given at 10:35 a.m., Sept. 11, as part of that day's morning oral session, titled "Materials-Based Technologies for Water and Energy Sustainability: Research Frontiers and Practical Challenges to Adoption."

Presenter: Dion D. Dionysiou, UC professor of environmental engineering
Researchers: Changseok Han and Joel M. Andersen, graduate students in CEAS; Dionysiou; and Vlassis Likodimos, Athanassios G. Kontos and Polycarpos Falaras of the National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos in Athens, Greece

Thermal Degradation of Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composite

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers have unique qualities such as high thermal and electrical conductivities, high tensile strengths and large aspect ratios. The research focuses on the potential release of harmful elements during accidental fires and high-temperature treatment (recycling) of CNT composites of Poly(Bisphenol A) carbonate and Polyamide 6.  

Researcher/Presenter: Caroline Akinyi, graduate student in environmental engineering

Using Solar-Powered Proteins to Filter Harmful Antibiotics from Water

UC researchers develop a solar-powered nano filter that is able to remove harmful carcinogens and antibiotics from water sources – lakes and rivers – at a significantly higher rate than the currently used filtering technology made of activated carbon. The research will be presented on Sept. 12.

Researchers:  Vikram Kapoor, environmental engineering doctoral student, and David Wendell, assistant professor of environmental engineering

With main offices located in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio, the American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and global leader to provide access to chemistry-related research.

UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science is the world founder of cooperative education. The college has been ranked "Most Selective in Research" by the National Science Foundation and has internationally known faculty.

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