Chemistry Students Present Research at National Conferences

Dennis Godward

Dennis Godward

Two Radford University chemistry students presented their most recent research findings at national meetings in June.

Dennis Godward, a junior from Bedford, presented his research in Washington, D.C., at the 16th annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, which focused on the role of chemistry in sustainability and covered a range of topics, including renewable energy, green pharmaceuticals and green chemistry education.

Godward’s presentation, "Useful Carbon Nano-Materials Produced through Dehydration of Crude Glycerol from Biodiesel Production," was based on the synthesis of carbon nanoparticles that can easily be produced from glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production.

RU chemistry Professor Francis Webster said these highly functionalized carbon materials have superior catalytic and adsorptive properties compared with commercial petroleum-based products now available.

Godward was named a National Science Foundation Scholar for the meeting and was provided travel funds to present his work. He was chosen from a pool of candidates including undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students from across the country, Webster said.

Craig Slate

Craig Slate

Craig Slate, a junior from Chesterfield, presented his research at Virginia Tech, which hosted the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry MACRO 2012 World Polymer Congress. The event was the latest in the series of biennial meetings that represent the largest international conference dedicated to all aspects of polymer science and engineering.

Slate's presentation, "Layer-by-layer (LbL) Assembly of Multilayer Films Made from Chitosan and a Synthetic Humic Acid Polyelectrolyte," dealt with recent research focusing on the formation of self-assembled polymeric films from sugar-derived carbon nanoparticles and chitosan, a natural biopolymer in the exoskeleton of crustaceans.

LbL films have applications in a variety of fields. The carbon-chitosan films are being tested as multifunctional materials for design of novel adsorbent coatings and the development of electrochemical and sensing devices.

"Our students represented Radford University to both national and international audiences with the expertise and professionalism of graduate students," said Webster, who served as research advisor to Godward and Slate, and accompanied them to the conferences. "Interacting with renowned scientists from around the world gives our students a broader perspective on our research program here at Radford and will certainly lead to future collaborations."

Jul 19, 2012
Chad Osborne
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