Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spring 2014 in the Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society with @pidgirl & @pidguy

The context of this blog post originally appeared in my May 2014 PID Analyzers, LLC Monthly Newsletter

I've seen several friends and acquaintances at various recreational and other community activities around town and they are amazed at the amount of *stuff* I've been doing lately-of course they are seeing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I have to admit, I'm impressed by it too. This particular cluster of American Chemical Society activities began on March 29, 2014 with our STEM Journey: Space Lab to Zero G joint event with the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America at Cape Cod Community College. Jack and I were on the Organizing Committee for this event whose planning began last August. It evolved into an astronaut themed event after we booked the two astronaut keynote speakers. We came up with the idea at one of our early committee meetings after determining that an astronaut speaker would bring in the public. It is apparently difficult to get astronauts to speak at events since the demand is so great. The Boy Scouts were able to book Captain Dan Burbank, a Cape Cod native. Jack was able to book Dr. Byron Lichtenberg using the following in: they'd met twice; once at at a cocktail party and the second time at a family cookout at a mutual friend's back in the 1980's-talk about real social networking! Here is the event program stay tuned for the complete write up from the event. Here is a nice post event write-up we got from Wicked Local Cape Cod.
With my Chemistry Ambassadors and Astronaut Keynote Speaker: Dr. Byron Lichtenberg 
Here I am at ACS ERC Showcase East presenting pidguy's True Story of Nova Biomedical: A 1970's Start-Up
April 9,2014 was the American Chemical Society ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase East 2014: A Business Pitching Contest, held in Waltham, MA. Jack and I were also on the Organizing Committee for this event which "featured the chemistry, management teams, and value propositions of 18 exciting chemical start-ups that are looking for investments and/or strategic partners.  The companies offered a broad range of chemistries involving materials, scientific instruments, therapeutic candidates, diagnostic devices, and cleantech products" according to my co-organizer, Ken Polk. The presentations were streamed live on You Tube and you can access the recordings here
The daytime portion of the ACE ERC East took place at the Hilton Garden Inn and the spectacular reception and evening program was hosted by our friends at Nova Biomedical, who have the most amazing staff and really know how to put on an event. The second event in this series is the ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase West, which will take place on Thursday August 14, 2014 during the ACS Fall National Meeting in San Francisco. To learn more about participating in this event as a contestant, potential investor or interested commercial partner, please contact me 
Since winning an R and D 100 award last November, we have continued our work with arsenic in food and water utilizing our hydride generation/gas chromatography/ photoionization HG/GC/PID technique which has a much wider application than we originally expected. Most metals and metalloids form hydrides. We have been able to detect all the metals and metalloids that we have tried (>20). Jack expects that we can detect all of the metal hydrides at ppb levels. This is a technique which could compete with AA but be
more sensitive. Interested in learning more? We've got data we can share. We will be presenting application specific variations of this work at two upcoming conferences: American Industrial Hygiene Conference and   Exposition in San Anto
nio, TX on June 4, presentation title: 


We managed to squeeze in a trip to the Museum of Science Boston on April 13, 2014 for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (pictured above) and crossed back over the river to Boston University  to see my sister,Anne Bastianelli (pictured below), who was conducting mock interviews with young chemists and offering them her feedback as a human resource professional at the ACS Northeastern Local Section Younger Chemists Career Symposium.

 
The last of the big events that Jack and I organized this April was for the Cambridge Science Festival on Friday evening April 18, 2014 hosted by The Broad Institute  and sponsored by the Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society and PID Analyzers, LLC. I'd gone in and pitched the idea last October to the festival organizers of having an *educator only* event, a chemistry workshop for teachers. They thought it was such a great idea that we got to kick-off the festival with our event and the organizers added five more *educator only* events to the 2014 festival lineup! We flew in my friend, Dr. Al Hazari, to conduct the workshop and participate in the public outreach event the following day. Al and I began formulating this idea back in Indianapolis in September at sci-mix.  Read more about this event on my blog.

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 SE Massachusetts STEM Network Resources for Educators Expo


Here I am earlier this week at the 2014 Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network Resources for Educators Expo hosted by Bridgewater State University. This is the third consecutive year that I have participated in this event as a member of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society NESACS Public Relations Committee, showcasing resources that ACS offers to teachers and professional development programming that NESACS provides during National Chemistry Week (Connections to Chemistry) and NEW in 2014 at Cambridge Science Festival. In 2012, this event was designed for students and my father, Jack Driscoll, did a great write-up on it. The format last year was the same as this year, where several professional development workshops are occurring simultaneously and the vendors are ready with resources to hand out to the teachers. 

Interesting observations from yesterday:
1) I ran out of my ACS Middle School Resources handouts-Most of the teachers I talked to on Wednesday May 21, 2014 teach middle school science. This is particularly interesting since in our recent programming on Cape Cod we have been unsuccessfully targeting the middle school audience-we have been extremely successful with the K-6 and I've got some ideas of how to engage the high school audience that I gleaned from our last Cape Cod Regional STEM Network meeting on May 16. I intend to work with high school guidance councilors and the local ACS High School Chem Clubs to increase engagement at our STEM outreach events in 2015. 
2)The high school teachers I spoke with were interested in participating in the High School Science Series, as they always are. How can we translate this interest into participation? That is always the challenge. I plan to connect with those who signed up for my email list at the event this week to facilitate communication and awareness of the NESACS programming for educators. 
3) Attendance was down at the event this year. From what I could tell, based on speaking with attendees, most schools and/or districts were sending only 1 representative to collect information for their school and/or program. So in several cases, I didn't get to speak with the chemistry or science teacher which made it even more important that I had my resources-to-go clearly labelled for recipients. I made it simple for those who were breezing through the expo after having participated in two back-to-back workshops, by using sticky labels and a highlighter, so they could grab the appropriate age resource and get moving to the next table.

I had my table organized left to right as follows:


High School: Included High School Science Series at the Museum of Science Boston part of an annual NESACS program that occurs during National Chemistry Week (see flyer left) and provides buses for Massachusetts area schools. Contact NESACS NCW Coordinator, Christine Jaworek-Lopes, to find out how to take advantage of this amazing opportunity for your high school, 
Connections to Chemistry (see info left) use this web link if interested in participating or contact Marietta Schwartz, NESACS Chemical Education Chair, Chemistry Workshop for Teachers at the Cambridge Science Festival, and handouts on the NEW American Association of Chemistry Teachers which is launching in September 2014-use this web link to learn more.


Middle School: Print-out from the ACS Middle School Lesson Plans, K-8 Resources (4 page folded handout).

Elementary: Print-out from the grades 3-6 resources and the K-8 Resources (4 page folded handout) 

Related info: Celebrating Chemistry-Energy Now and Forever 2013 and The Wonders of Water 2014. I had a fellow Cape Codder tell me that she already had the Energy Now and Forever handout-she'd gotten it at our STEM Journey event on March 29, 2014 at Cape Cod Community College. She was talking about what a great event it was with the astronauts and the Lego lab. I asked her how she heard about that event and it was through the Boy Scouts. Both of her grandsons are Boy Scouts and their mom asked her to take them to the event. We are currently planning the 2015 joint STEM Journey with NESACS, Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Cape Cod Community College and PID Analyzers, LLC (our small Cape Cod based chemical instrumentation business). 2015 will be the third year we have partnered with the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America for outreach events. Here is a recap of our 2013 National Chemistry Week Wicked Cool Science Cafe with the Boy Scouts.

Additional handouts:
My blog post about the Teacher Workshop at Cambridge Science Festival, NESACS meetings in Southeastern Massachusetts handout and ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses current newsletter.
It's taken me a few years, but I can now pack my resources into one grocery bag!

Contact me you'd like to join the NESACS Public Relations Committee Chemistry Resources for Teachers email list.




Thursday, May 8, 2014

#ACSsanfran with @pidgirl and @pidguy

Jennifer Maclachlan (@pidgirl) and Jack Driscoll (@pidguy) Cape Cod April 2014

Jack and I have a hearty technical program planned at #ACSsanfran in August 2014. We will be presenting work in five technical divisions of the American Chemical Society including: ANYL, SCHB, AGFD, ENVR, and ENFL. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Learn more about the meeting here.

Sunday Morning August 10, 2014
ACS DIVISION OF ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
ANYL ORAL SESSION: Advances in Separation Full Day Session 
Abstract Body: The EPA has recently reduced the action level for lead in drinking water from 25 ppb to 15 ppb. Since Pb+4 forms a stable hydride that has an ionization potential of >10 eV, it can be detected using a photoionization detector (PID) with a lamp energy of 10.6 eV. We have shown previously (1) that hydride generation PID can be used to detect arsenic in well water at sub ppb levels. We have modified that method by using H2O2 to oxidize any Pb+2 to Pb+4. We are now able to detect total Pb in water down to 1 ppb. The hydride generation minimizes any sample preparation, the new PID improves the detection limit by 3-10 fold, and the GC is used to separate the PbH4from other metal hydrides and their organic counterparts.

Driscoll, JN et, al, “Detection of As in VT Well Water by HG/GC/PID", ACS Meeting in NOLA, April 2013



SCHB at SCI-MIX Monday August 11, 2014 8pm
Title: ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase East: Guide to a successful entrepreneurial event


Presenting author: Jennifer Maclachlan
Abstract Body: The mission of the ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center is "to advance chemical entrepreneurs and provide resources to members with a practical business plan and/or start-ups." The Showcase East Organizing Committee asked me to join and help organize this event. My expertise was augmented by the resources of and support from the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB), Northeastern Local Section (NESACS), and Committee on Public Relations and Communications (CPRC). This poster illustrates the success of the ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase East event, which occurred April 9, 2014 in Waltham, MA and emphasizes the importance of a truly collaborative team with clear and consistent channels of communication, goals, and distribution of tasks. The ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center Showcase West event will take place on August 14, 2014, at the ACS 248th national meeting in San Francisco.

SCHB at SCI-MIX Monday August 11, 2014 8pm
Title: SCHB offers networking opportunities and benefits for small chemical businesses

Abstract Body: In our thirty-fourth year, our mission remains the same: to aid in the formation, development and growth of small chemical businesses. We do this by continuously providing relevant programming and social events at ACS national and regional meetings for attendees who currently own and operate their own small chemical businesses as well as for those who are considering it. In 2012, SCHB began entrepreneurial programming with the Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPACS), Northeastern (NESACS), and Georgia Local Sections. In 2013, with the assistance of an ACS IPG, SCHB arranged programming at other scientific society meetings, including AAAS, APS, and CLEO. In 2014, in collaboration with PROF, we hosted networking lunches for our speakers, member, and other interested persons. In 2015, SCHB will sponsor several symposia at Pacifichem. At this 2014 San Francisco meeting, SCHB invites you to attend our technical sessions, meet old friends and new connections at our reception, visit our expo booth and "discuss businesses," and join us for lunch. After the meeting, stay in touch with SCHB member via Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter and on the ACS Network.
TUESDAY MORNING AUGUST 12, 2014 10:20am-10:50am
 ACS DIVISION OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY GENERAL ORAL SESSION AGFD 

Title: New analytical method for low level detection of arsenic in food and beverages
Presenting author: Jack Driscoll
Abstract Body: Since As+3 and As+5 form stable hydrides that have ionization potentials of 10.5 eV, it can be detected using a photoionization detector that has a lamp energy of 10.6 eV. Photoionization has been coupled to hydride generation and shown to be a very sensitive technique by a number of researchers to determine arsenic in natural waters at low or sub ppb concentrations. The disadvantage of this technique is that it uses a liquid nitrogen trap to concentrate the arsine.
We have modified that method by eliminating the liquid nitrogen and using a new PID that improves the detection limit by up to 10 fold. We can detect arsenic down to 0.1 ppb. We have applied this method to the analysis of water, juices and rice.
The hydride generation minimizes any sample preparation, and the GC is used to separate arsenic from other metal hydrides and their organic counterparts.

TUESDAY Afternoon August 12, 2014
ACS DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY
SESSION: Evolving Science and Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing 
D. Drogos, Organizer; T. Barton, Organizer; D. Drogos, Presiding Papers 377-384
ENVR-Presidential Symposia
Title: Environmental and process measurements in fracking operations with a portable gas chromatograph


Presenting author: Jack Driscoll
Abstract Body: The use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking of shale has catapulted the US into one of the leading producers of natural gas in 2012. The producers are interested in the natural gas composition (C1 to C6 hydrocarbon and BTU content). Local Environmental Agencies will be concerned with leakage of methane from the fracking operation both from a reduction in the Olevel where employees work or a large leakage of a potential greenhouse gas during production. Another application involves the investigation of contamination of methane in local water supplies or streams. Data will be presented utilizing the PID Analyzers Model 312 portable gas chromatograph (GC) configured with a flame ionization detector (FID) that will detect hydrocarbons from ppm to percent levels. A dual column system is used for the various fracking applications described above. The portable GC has an embedded PC with PeakWorksTM software for GC control and peak integration. The internal battery and the pressurized cylinder will allow the GC to operate for 8-10 hours. This flexible and sensitive field portable GC is ideal for monitoring environmental concerns associated with fracking operations.
Tuesday afternoon August 12, 2014 1:30pm
ENFL Session Advances in analytical methods for petroleum upstream applications* 

*We were invited to give this talk


Abstract Body: There are occupational and environmental health and safety issues related to petroleum upstream applications such as those associated with hydraulic fracking including chemical exposure of workers during hydraulic fracturing operations as well as the wastewater, methane leaks from fractures in the shale and leaks into the ecosystem including but not limited to groundwater, marshes, drinking water. In this paper, we will illustrate how our analyzers can achieve the following applications: methane in air, methane leaks from the shale, methane in water using a static headspace method, hydrocarbon contaminants in the hydraulically pumped water, arsenic in the water since this is a common pollutant in shale and the 20th most common element in the earth's crust and product analysis: the BTU content of the gas needs to be determined. We will discuss the analytical methods and various in-field instrumentation for monitoring these problems utilizing our portable GC-FID, our low cost hand-held FID which is ideal for leak detection and our R&D100 award winning arsenic in water analyzer. A modification of our portable gas chromatograph configuration results in a technique for measuring the product gases produced by fracking. An analytical method for each of the methane applications as well as the arsenic in water application will be described.
ENVR POSTER SESSION: Wednesday evening August 13, 2014 6pm
California Air Monitoring: From Inception to Current Trends in the New Millennium
J. Maclachlan, Organizer; J. Driscoll, Organizer; J. Maclachlan, Presiding Papers 586-587
Abstract Body: One of the most serious contamination problems in LA in the early 2000's was leaking from underground gasoline storage tanks. At high levels of VOC's (thousands of ppm), the pump and treat effluent can simply be flared. At about 1,000 ppm, it requires too much auxiliary fuel to burn the effluent. A new collection system such as a carbon bed is required. Continuous monitoring is required to determine when breakthrough of the VOC's occurs. Then, the carbon bed should be changed.
The most popular technique for carbon bed monitoring is photoionization and the instrument includes a programmable setpoint that shuts down the pump allowing the carbon bed to be changed. The application of continuous monitoring instrumentation to soil vapor extraction (SVE) is described as one of the few innovative technologies that has gained wide use for cleaning up contaminated sights.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Analytical methods for various in-field measurements of methane and arsenic in hydraulic fracturing operations


Jack and I were invited to give this talk in the American Chemical Society Division of Energy  and Fuels #ENFL Technical Program at the Fall National Meeting in San Francisco, CA 2014. Learn more about attending this conference here.

Session: Advances in analytical methods for petroleum upstream applications

Date: Tuesday August 12, 2014 1:30pm

Title: Analytical methods for various in-field measurements of methane and arsenic in hydraulic fracturing operations



Presenting Author: Jennifer Maclachlan, Dr. Jack Driscoll, PID Analyzers, LLC, 2 Washington Circle, Suite 4, Sandwich, MA
Abstract Body: There are occupational and environmental health and safety issues related to petroleum upstream applications such as those associated with hydraulic fracking including chemical exposure of workers during hydraulic fracturing operations as well as the wastewater, methane leaks from fractures in the shale and leaks into the ecosystem including but not limited to groundwater, marshes, drinking water. In this paper, we will illustrate how our analyzers can achieve the following applications: methane in air, methane leaks from the shale, methane in water using a static headspace method, hydrocarbon contaminants in the hydraulically pumped water, arsenic in the water since this is a common pollutant in shale and the 20th most common element in the earth's crust and product analysis: the BTU content of the gas needs to be determined. We will discuss the analytical methods and various in-field instrumentation for monitoring these problems utilizing our portable GC-FID, our low cost hand-held FID which is ideal for leak detection and our RandD100 award winning arsenic in water analyzer. A modification of our portable gas chromatograph configuration results in a technique for measuring the product gases produced by fracking. An analytical method for each of the methane applications as well as the arsenic in water application will be described.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mock HazWaste Site/Emergency Response Activity at University of Rhode Island

I had the opportunity to attend and observe the mock hazwaste site emergency response activity yesterday at the University of Rhode Island (URI), where our long-time client, Corey Briggs of Environ, was conducting the final exam for the course he teaches: GEO 590 - Environmental Hazards and Response. 

L to R: Corey Briggs, Jennifer Maclachlan and Pete Bonk at URI
mock hazwaste site emergency response activity

 










We answered the Call-to-Action that our New England Local Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (NEAIHA) put out last Fall seeking equipment donations for this course: GE 590. We donated an HNU PID 
Model 102 photoionization detector to URI (green hand-held analyzer shown right). This unit was used throughout the course and during the drill to take ambient air measurements, to measure the concentrations of the chemicals from the drums and for leak detection from the "abandoned" drums. 


Students "suiting up" for the drill

Site preparation with respirators



Student using our HNU PID during
drill 

With the respirator on,
the student unlocks drum lid and
uses the HNU PID
to take a reading

View of the mock site setup at URI during the drill activity. Students were communicating  and receiving instructions from remote members of their teams via radio.

Students working together, taking and recording readings with the HNU PID and the combustible gas meter at the site of the "abandoned leaking" drums on the mock hazwaste site




LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS COURSE:

GEO 590 - Environmental Hazards and Response 
Spring 2014 M 4:30-7:30 PM , CBLS 010
Instructor: Corey Briggs, CIH, CIT
contact person: Anne Veeger veeger@uri.edu
Planning a career in environmental work that includes working on hazardous waste sites?
Employees involved in assessment, clean-up and remediation actions on hazardous waste sites must, according to OHSA's HAZWOPER standard, complete a 40-hour HAZWOPER course that covers regulations, hazards, monitoring, and personal protection. This 3-credit course covers all required topics, including a mock Hazwaste site/emergency response activity. The course will be taught by Mr. Corey Briggs, CIH, CET, CIT, ENVIRON International Corporation.
Students who complete the required 40 hours of class time, pass the final exam, and complete the mock HazWaste Site/Emergency Response Activity will be 40-hour HAZWOPER certified.
Note: Class is limited to 25 students. Preference will be given to graduating seniors and graduate students in their final year of study. Others will be given a permission number on a space available basis.
Course requirements:
Reference Text: Environmental Health and Safety for Hazardous Waste Sites

Written by Richard C. Barth, Patricia D. George, and Ronald H. Hill 
Personal gear bag: $75 (assessed as a course fee) this covers cost of safety equipment (respirator, Type suit, gloves, etc.) required for training and mock response activity.
Medical Clearance for Respirator Use: OSHA requires that workers receive medical clearance for respirator use. Please see OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation for the form you are asked to complete. We are working with Health Services to identify have these forms reviewed by a medical professional. You may also contact your personal physician who can provide a written recommendation (see this OSHA link for information).
Interested in taking this course? contact: Associate Dean Anne Veeger.
Dr. Anne I. Veeger
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
The University of Rhode Island
421 Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (CBLS)
120 Flagg Road
Kingston, RI 02881
401-874-4184 (ph)
401-874-9107 (fax)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Analysis of low and sub ppb levels of inorganic arsenic in fruit juices

PID Analyzers has developed a new sensitive technique, hydride generation/gas chromatography/photoionization (HG/GC/PID), for the analysis of low and sub ppb levels of inorganic arsenic (As+3 and As+5), in fruit juices. An example of the technique is shown in the Figure below:

Learn more about this exciting application by contacting Jack Driscoll or attending our talk at the 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco August 12, 2014 on the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Track titled: New Analytical Method for Low Level Detection of Arsenic in Food and Beverages

A Modified Analytical Method for the Determination of Arsine at Low ppb Levels by HG/GC/PID


The session "Innovations In IH Sampling and Analysis",  
PO131  took take place on Wednesday June 4, 2014 
from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Convention Center 214C


Jennifer Maclachlan presenting at Innovations in IH Sampling and Analysis
San Antonio, TX June 4, 2014
PRESENTATION TYPE: Podium
CURRENT TOPICS: Sampling and Laboratory Analysis

TITLE: A Modified Analytical Method for the Determination of Arsine at Low ppb Levels by HG/GC/PID 3pm
ABSTRACT BODY

Objective: 
The OSHA method for arsine involves the collection of arsine (PEL = 50 ppb) on a charcoal tube, desorption with nitric acid and analysis by graphite furnace/atomic absorption (GF/AA). The GF/AA is a complex and difficult technique that is often used for ppb analyses to obtain better sensitivity. We propose to replace the GF/AA method with a more sensitive method that replaces the readout method with an easier and more sensitive technique.

Methods: 
Since nitric acid (HNO3) is used to desorb the arsine, it is present in solution as arsenous acid (H3AsO3). The arsenous acid can be easily reduced to arsine (AsH3) using a reducing agent such as sodium borahydride. The AsH3 is collected on a solid sorbent and thermally desorbed into a GC where it is separated from other components and detected with a photoionization detector (PID). We have used this hydride generation GC/PID (HG/GC/PID) technique for the analysis of sub ppb levels of arsenic in water, seawater, soils, food and juices.

Results
A linear calibration curve for arsenic was obtained for 5-500 ppb. The reproducibility for a set of five results provided the following data: the average value was 5.28 ppb, the standard deviation was 0.142 ppm and the coefficient of variation was excellent at 2.7%.


Conclusions: 
The HG/GC/PID method provides a very rapid and sensitive technique for the analysis of arsenic compounds at ppb levels. The precision of AsH3 for five samples at about 1/10th of the PEL. The same OSHA sampling and desorption method can be used for AsH3 and the GF/AA can be replaced with an easier to use and less costly method: HG/GC/PID.
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME INITIAL LAST NAME): J. N. Driscoll1, J. L. Maclachlan
AUTHORS/INSTITUTIONS: J.N. Driscoll, J.L. Maclachlan, PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, Massachusetts, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES;