Thursday, May 19, 2016

SCHB named a FINALIST in TWO ChemLuminary Award categories at #ACSPhilly 2016!

The Small Chemical Business Division of the American Chemical Society has been selected as a finalist for the following ChemLuminary Award(s):

  1. Most Unique Project as Funded by a Division Innovative Project Grant
  2. Global Engagement Award
-Jennifer Maclachlan, Public Relations Chair, SCHB

NESACS is a FINALIST in SIX Chemluminary Award categories at #ACSPhilly 2016

The Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society has been selected as a finalist for the following ChemLuminary Award(s) on Tuesday August 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA:

  1. Outstanding Local Section Industry Event
  2. Outstanding Local Section Career Program Award
  3. Local Section Partnership Award
  4. Outstanding Continuing Public Relations Program of a Local     Section
  5. Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee
  6. Outstanding or Creative Local Section Younger Chemists Committee Event

The 2015 self-nominations for the ChemLuminary Awards were an exemplary team effort led by 2015 NESACS Chair, Kathy Lee. The events showcased in our section's nominated events as well as those that made it to the finals, were led by a diverse group of NESACS leadership that engaged the greater NESACS membership and beyond in Local Section Activities.

We will participate in the poster session prior to the awards ceremony and watch for this post to be updated to include background about our finalist events.
-Jennifer Maclachlan, Member, NESACS Public Relations Committee and Jack Driscoll, Chair, NESACS Public Relations Committee


Recent Advances in Remediation Strategies and Technologies for the Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites

Accepted for presentation in the following SYMPOSIUM at #ACSPhilly 2016:
 Recent Advances in Remediation Strategies and Technologies
 for the Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites

TITLE: Headspace GC/PID for on-site screening of soil

 and water at hazardous waste sites

AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): John N. Driscoll1Jennifer L. Maclachlan2
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States.
2. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 
Headspace screening of VOC’s in soil and water samples in the laboratories is a common practice to prevent high level samples from contaminating the GC/MS. The screening of soil and water samples in the field using a headspace photoionization detection (PID), as a Level I field screening tool, has been a common practice that has been in use for more than 25 years. A battery operated portable gas chromatograph (GC) offers Level II field analysis with the ability to detemine 

the exact species and concentrations of the contaminants offering real-time laboratory quality 
data in the field. The real advantage to using both Level I and Level II sreening methods is to
 speed up the processing of samples once the contaminants have been identified and 
reduce the number of samples sent to the laboratory. 
Low ppb levels of detection include most contaminants 
including TCE and PCE. 
A portable GC can run for 6-8 hours on the batteries 
and can accommodate 30M capillary columns that are easily interchangeable. The general 
purpose column is a 30M x 0.53 mm x 3 micron film methyl silicone column that separated 
based on boiling point. The thick film column will also separate gases as well as volatile liquids. 
This is an ideal tool to help clean up hazardous waste sites more rapidly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dr. J-Lo: Admiration and gratitude for a friend and mentor

Four times in the past seven months I have given presentations on science outreach: Rochester Local Section of the American Chemical Society, Pacifichem, the Materials Research Society and the American Chemical Society Publications webinar. In each of these presentations I told the story of how I got started with my science outreach in my own community of Cape Cod. This is story of being connected to my Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) National Chemistry Week Coordinator who became my friend and science outreach mentor. I met Christine Jawork-Lopes at the October 2010 meeting of NESACS. The guest lecturer that evening was Al Hazari, who became another inspiration for me. I'd gone to the meeting that night to ask the Chair to sign my science café funding proposal for International Year of Chemistry mini grants. My proposal was well received and I committed to organizing not just one but four science cafes during the International Year of Chemistry 2011! I'm easily convinced and up for a challenge-it's just my personality. Christine or Chris as we call her at NESACS, gave me some materials to get me started for a small-scale hands-on activity I was planning to do at a local after school program at the Cape Cod YMCA the following week. This is what sparked our friendship and subsequent mentorship. Once I found out that her students at Emmanuel College call her 'Dr. J-Lo' I did, too.

I attended Dr. J-Lo's National Chemistry Week (NCW) 'prep day' at the Museum of Science Boston in 2011. Not only was it awesome to use their labs, who doesn't love to see what's 'behind the curtain', but I
was impressed by her level of dedication and attention to detail-having the volunteers run all the experiments in advance to avoid any issues at the NCW event.

 The 'aha moment' for me was Hanover Day in 2011. Dr. J-Lo had booked a table at this annual civic event held on a field where local vendors and the like, showed their wares. At our ACS tables, we showed chemistry! It was an unexpected and delightfully received experience and it made me realize that you can do science outreach any where. All you need is a tote bag of materials, a table and a table cloth!

Kids making their own hand-sanitizer-replicated from the NCW
Boston event at the Cape Cod Science Café Healthy Kids event
Materials and inspiration provided by Dr. J-Lo. Photo by Randy
In 2011, Dr. J-Lo and her team at the Museum of Science Boston and the Boston Children's Museum, developed chemistry activities related to kids health that won NESACS a Chemluminary award (awarded in 2012 for the 2011 activity) for the 'Most Creative National Chemistry Week Celebration Using the Theme'. See the cover of the NESACS Nucleus (right) and read the article here:
T-Shirt design by Dr. J-Lo's daughter, Cassie in 2015

In 2012, Dr. J-Lo asked me to come take photos at NCW. The theme was Nanotechnology and her show-stopper was a Carbon Nanotube model. She joked that if I couldn't get this photographable moment into Chemical and Engineering News then we'd never get anything into it! Ours was a sure winner and we made it into the highly competitive NCW roundup (see left).

A truly pivotal moment in my science outreach was participation in the American Association of the Advancement of Science Family Science Days in 2013. I'd obtained an Innovative Project Grant on behalf of the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses to conduct an Entrepreneurial Career Workshop. Encouraged by a fellow ACS colleague, George Ruger, to reserve an outreach table at the event, I obliged. Dr. J-Lo connected me up with her contacts at the Museum of Science, who provided materials and personnel and this combination coupled with my father's colleagues from Suffolk University allowed us to forge a formidable relationship with the Boy Scouts. This is what led to our Chemluminary award winning 'Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome' with the Cape & Islands Boy Scout Council of America. This successful Cape Cod NCW event was the precursor for 'STEM Journey' which will, in 2017, mark it's fourth consecutive year.

Family friends flanked by my Abby (left) and Dr. J-Lo's Cassie (right)
2011 NCW at MOS Boston
Part of my attraction towards Dr. J-Lo was that she too, is a working mom who volunteers for her professional society. Our kids are the same ages and have similar interests such as sharing in their mother's science outreach events and Girl Scouts. Additionally we found ourselves with similar hobbies, like running for instance. We met up after  we'd both run the Boston Athletic Association 10K in 2014 to take a photo and show off our '10K bling'. At the Fall National Meeting of the ACS in 2014 we  ran on Saturday morning and again at the same meeting for the ACS Younger Chemists Committee 5K.

I am so grateful to Dr. Jo-Lo for being such an enthusiastic supporter of my science outreach efforts both on Cape Cod and for the last five years at the Cambridge Science Festival. Without her early and continued support I would not have been able to develop my outreach niche.

It was such a pleasure to see Dr. J-Lo receive the Henry A. Hill Award in October 2015. There are very few people who embody the spirit of Henry Hill in leadership, professionalism and outreach and my dear friend and mentor, Dr. J-Lo certainly do. Dr. J-Lo is a true Chemistry Ambassador. Read more about this award and the amazing Dr. J-Lo here.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fracking: Economics vs Environment: Reducing the environmental footprint of methane from fracking operations #ACSPhilly PRES

To be presented at the American Chemical Society Fall National Meeting in August 2016, Philadelphia, PA

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Fracking: Economics vs Environment-Invited,Oral
TITLE: Reducing the environmental footprint of methane from fracking operations
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Jennifer L. Maclachlan1John N. Driscoll1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 

Shale has become a major source of fuel in the US and that brought a booming economy to a number of states and allowed more gas for industrial usage thereby reducing pollution. With the recent reduction in fuel prices, it may be difficult to make reasonable profits on these operations.
There are environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracking including the waste water (chemicals added to keep the pores open and the gas flowing) methane leaks from fractures in the shale, and leaks into the ecosystem (groundwater, marshes, drinking water, etc.).
Neighbors are concerned with methane getting into wells, drinking water, and marshes or rivers nearby. To reduce the loss of methane, the leaks have to be found and plugged and nearby aqueous sources have to be tested and monitored.
We have developed a portable GC with a flame ionization detector (FID) that weighs about 6 pounds and is easy to use, This can measure ppb levels of methane with a precision of +/- 5%. A head space method will allow the detection of low ppb levels of methane in soil or water, This will allow methane leaks to be found and tracked to their source. If the leaks are found and repaired, it could solve the environmental issues and perhaps allow more methane to be collected.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lead in drinking water: A new simplified method of analysis using HG/GC/PID #ACSPhilly

 Accepted for presentation at #ACSPhilly 2016

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Advances in Analytical Separations-Oral


TITLE: Lead in drinking water: A new simplified method of analysis using HG/GC/PID

AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): John N. Driscoll2Jennifer L. Maclachlan1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States.
2. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 

ABSTRACT BODY:Abstract: Flint Michigan problems with lead contaminated drinking water turned into an emergency situation recently when elevated blood lead tests in children increased from 2.5 percent to 6.3 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that public health actions be initiated when the level of lead in a child’s blood is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more. Apparently, lead in drinking water is not just a Flint Michigan problem since recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data showed about 350 schools and day-care centers failed lead tests a total of about 470 times from 2012 through 2015. This is a country wide problem.We reported on a new method for lead analysis using HG/GC/PID at the ACS meeting in San Francisco in 2014. We have modified that method to simplify and reduce the cost of the equipment so that it could be used in water treatment plants to meet the EPA standard of 15 ppb and and prevent high levels of lead from entering the town or city drinking water supply. We will describe the detection limits, accuracy and precision for this new method.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Comparison of mercury in water analysis using cold vapor AA and gold preconcentration/PID #ACSPhilly

Accepted for presentation at ACS Philly August 2016

CONTROL ID: 2511284 
TITLE: Comparison of mercury in water analysis using cold vapor AA and gold preconcentration/PID
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): John N. Driscoll2Jennifer L. Maclachlan1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Centerville, MA, United States.
2. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 
One popular method for the analysis of mercury (Hg) in water is EPA Method 245.2 which uses the reduction of Hg salts to Hg0 vapor with a strong reducing agent. The detection of Hg0 is by cold vapor atomic absorption (CVAA).
Hg0 has an ionization potential (IP) of 10.4 eV and can be detected at low ppb levels with the 10.6 eV lamp in our photoionization detector (PID). The reaction of mercury (Hgo) with gold preconcentration (GPC) can be used to concentrate the Hg while removing any potential interferences. The Hg0 is desorbed from the amalgam by rapidly heating to 500oC, This amalgamation reaction turns a non specific Hg method into a specific and more sensitive one.
We will describe our work on the comparison of these two methods for the analysis of ppb levels and ppt levels of Hg in water in this presentation.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Small Chemical Business Program at #NERM2016

Abstracts are now being accepted for the American Chemical Society  Small Chemical Businesses symposium at #NERM2016 in Binghampton, NY October 5-8, 2016. Submit today

Entrepreneur's Toolkit

ractical tools for small 
chemical science ​
business owners, including intellectual property protection, licensing, technology transfer, capital formation, strategic planning, partnership/alliance/marketing strategies to 
 opportunities domestically and internationally

Organizer(s): Jennifer Maclachlan and Bill Bernier

​Jennifer Maclachlan, PR Chair

Wielding social media for effective science communication