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Graduate Student Poster Competition

October 23, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 43

Graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for poster presentations at the ACS national meeting in Chicago, March 26-29, 2007, on topics addressing the chemistry of biorenewable materials and fuels, particularly those relating to crop-based and natural product biomass conversions for biofuel and biomaterials, standards and metrology, storage and transportation, and by-products.

The top submitted posters will be designated "Best of Biorenewables Student Posters" at the ACS meeting. Students will receive certificates to acknowledge their accomplishments. Top posters will be selected by an advisory group of prominent U.S. and Brazilian chemists working in the fields of biorenewable materials and fuels. The student with the best poster presented in Chicago will be invited to participate in a May/June 2007 visit to top research labs in Brazil and a joint presidential symposium at the annual meeting of the Brazilian Chemical Society. Brazil is recognized as a world leader in developing biorenewable materials and fuels. Travel, accommodations, and local expenses in Brazil will be provided by ACS through a Discovery Corps Fellowship grant from the National Science Foundation.

Winning poster session content also will be considered for presentation in Web-audio seminars for U.S. and Brazilian audiences. Contributions are invited pertaining to chemical sciences research related to the following five areas:

◾ Crop-based feedstocks: Crops containing high amounts of sugars and starches—such as sugarcane, corn, and wheat—can serve as biomass feedstocks. These feedstocks can be thermochemically and biochemically converted to biofuel and biomaterials. Posters are invited that explore how to enhance yields by manipulating the properties of crops.
◾ Natural product feedstocks: Most current technologies allow for the production of ethanol from grain-based feedstocks, but new technologies are being developed to allow for the production of biofuels and biomaterials from nonfood plants that contain cellulose. Posters are invited that explore how to expand the range of feedstocks (including wood, switch grass, agricultural residues, and municipal and industrial waste) that can be used to produce biofuels and biomaterials.
◾ Storage and transportation: Feedstocks for biofuel and biomaterial production are generally confined to a specific geographic region, such as the midwestern U.S. or the center-south region of Brazil. Posters are invited that explore the development of methods for the storage and transportation of biofuels and biorefined products, a key aspect of production and distribution.
◾ Standards and measurement: The use of biofuels is relatively new, and as such, not many well-defined standards or methods for measurement are available. It will become increasingly important to identify the properties of biofuels that determine fuel combustion quality and to develop regulation standards. Some of the important properties of biofuels include viscosity, density, energy density, sulfur content, oxidation stability, and flash point, for example. Posters are invited that explore the development of analytical methods for easy and accurate measurement of the physical properties of biofuels.
◾ By-products: The production of liquid fuels from biomass often results in unwanted by-products. For example, the breakdown of cellulose results in lignin, and biodiesel production generates glycerol. Posters are invited that explore how to utilize these by-products, either in the production of biofuels or in some other capacity.

To be considered for this program, submit your poster abstract online through ACS OASYS at through an ACS technical division relevant to your interest and background in chemistry by its published (C&EN, Sept. 4, page 79) deadline. Once you receive notification that your poster has been selected for presentation at the ACS national meeting in Chicago, send an e-mail to Bradley D. Miller, ACS manager of African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern affairs and NSF Senior Discovery Corps Fellow 2006-07, at the address below. Indicate the assigned number of the session and include a PDF version of your accepted poster presentation.

For more information and to submit materials, contact Bradley D. Miller, ACS, 1155-16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 872-4088; fax (202) 872-6317; e-mail:



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