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Conodont Thermochronology

Dr. Rebecca Flowers

Department of Geological Sciences
University of Colorado, Boulder
Grant #53525-ND8

Quantitative Constraints on Thermal Histories in Carbonates and Marine Shales: Conodont (U‑Th)/He Thermochronology

Dr. Rebecca Flowers studies continental tectonics and landscape evolution and has a particular interest in linking erosional uplift histories with processes occurring deeper in the Earth’s crust and mantle. Her research uses (U-Th)/He thermochronology to decipher the thermal history of rocks. Temperatures increase with depth in the crust, so as a sedimentary rock is buried, it will heat up, but if it moves closer to the Earth’s surface due to removal of overlying rocks by erosion, then it will cool off. So by constraining the thermal history of a rock by (U-Th)/He dating one can also determine its burial and erosion history.

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Iron Catalysis

Dr. Helen Hoyt

Department of Chemistry
Knox College
Grant #54044-UNI3

Preparation, Electronic Structure, and Reactivity Studies of Iron Complexes Supported by Conjugated Alpha-Diimine Ligands

Dr. Helen Hoyt is a synthetic chemist who focuses on catalyst development. Dr. Hoyt’s PRF supported research is directed towards developing iron based catalysts with conjugated α-diimine ligands for hydrosilylation reactions of petroleum-derived chemicals. She indicates that, in addition to developing catalysts, her research goals include “understanding the electronic structure of the catalysts, i.e. where the electrons are, and investigation of the role of ligands in redox activity for successful catalysis.”

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Boron-based Lithiation

Dr. J. Adam McCubbin

Department of Chemistry
University of Winnipeg
Grant #52231-UR1

Boron-Based Directing Groups for Directed Lithiation Reactions

Dr. Adam McCubbin, an organic chemist at the University of Winnipeg, has studied boron-based directed metalation reactions in his work supported by an ACS Petroleum Research Fund UR grant. He focuses on synthetic chemistry related to organoboron compounds and more particularly arylboronic acids. In contrast to the standard approach of using another group to direct the installation of boron on a benzene ring, Dr. McCubbin uses boronic acid derivatives as the directing groups to install other substituents on a benzene ring.

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Catalysts for Methane Reforming

Dr. Elif Ertekin

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Grant #54775-DNI10

Design of Green, Switchable Oxide Catalysts for Steam Methane Reforming by Quantum Mechanical Simulation

Dr. Elif Ertekin is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department. Her ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) grant focuses on the steam methane reforming process. Dr. Ertekin is approaching steam methane reforming catalysts in a novel way by applying theoretical simulations to large-scale industrial processing. It has been generally accepted that expensive noble metal catalysts perform the best for steam methane reforming, while cheaper alternatives such as nickel-based catalysts do not perform as well and quickly become poisoned.

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