Meeting April 20th

APRIL 2023 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) Refrigerants: How to Stay Cool without Warming the Planet

Featuring Michael Klimek, P.E.

Lead Process Technology Engineer
Arkema Inc., Calvert City KY Plant

Thursday, April 20th 

at UT Martin
Latimer-Smith STEM Building

203 Hurt Street / Martin, TN 38238

Undergraduate Poster Session 5:30–6:30PM
Dinner 6:30–7PM
Presentation 7–8PM

Dinner Catered by Sodexo

Abstract:  Refrigerants are the working fluid used in a refrigeration cycle and they impact both safety and performance. In the early 20th century, refrigerants were often flammable, toxic, or both. Nonflammable and nontoxic Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) greatly improved the safety of air conditioning and refrigeration, enabling them to quickly become widespread. However, CFC’s damage the ozone layer and have a high GWP. Alternative hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) were later developed, which are non-ozone depleting, but often have relatively high GWP’s. Lower GWP HFC’s and ultra-low GWP Hydrofluoroolefins (HFO’s) are now being produced to reduce the impact on the climate, while still providing comparable safety and performance.

Arkema has been a leader in the transition to low and ultra-low GWP refrigerants. The Calvert City, KY plant produces the low GWP refrigerant Forane® 32, and the plant is building capacity for 15 kt/yr Forane ® 1233zd, an ultra-low GWP refrigerant. Both the history of refrigerants and some of the more recent innovations in industry and at Arkema will be discussed.

Meeting March 16th

March 2023 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Developing Analytical Tools
to Investigate Nutritional Ecology
at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Featuring Cody Pinger, PhD

Recruitment Energetics and Coastal Assessment (RECA)
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Thursday, March 16th 7:00pm

Virtual Meeting

Zoom Meeting ID: 994 6588 8352

Research at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) covers a range of interdisciplinary collaborations to study life in Alaska’s large marine ecosystems. Biologists, ecologists, geneticists, computer scientists, statisticians, and chemists work together with the fishing industry to monitor fish and marine mammal populations. Data from these studies are incorporated into sophisticated models to help predict future fish stock size, empowering fishery managers with information to set sustainable catch limits and protect whales, seals, and sea lions in Alaska. Additional AFSC projects include advancing aquaculture research in Alaska, monitoring the long-term effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and analyzing the effects of ocean warming on marine life. Much of this research is supported with analytical chemistry!

This presentation will focus on research being performed in the chemistry lab in the Recruitment Energetics and Coastal Assessment (RECA) program. Here, we study the structure and function of marine food webs using biochemical indicators of fish health. To improve the usefulness of our studies, we have optimized the performance of a rapid method for measuring lipid content in zooplankton, a valuable indicator of nutritional quality. This advancement enables rapid turnaround of data for use in annual ecosystem-status reports, providing timely information on diets of commercially important juvenile fish. Additionally, our team investigates thiamine (vitamin B1) in Chinook salmon as a potential driver of recent severe population declines. This work involves high-performance liquid chromatography measurements of vitamin content, novel approaches to field measurements, salmon-rearing experiments at a remote hatchery, and studies on the concentration of a vitamin-destroying enzyme in prey fishes as a putative cause.

Cody began his academic journey at Alpena Community College in northern Michigan before transferring to Saginaw Valley State University to earn a B.S. in Chemistry in 2014. His undergraduate research studied causes of eutrophication in the local Saginaw Bay watershed. Following graduation, he moved to East Lansing to pursue a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University. He defended his dissertation in 2018, titled: Novel Analytical Tools for Studying a Potential Type-1 Diabetes Therapy. This work involved developing 3D-printed devices for measuring interactions between bloodstream cells, proteins, and small ligands, and studying how those interactions changed under conditions observed in the bloodstream of people with diabetes. Following postdoctoral studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at MSU, Cody moved with his fiancée Kathryn to the capital of Alaska to work as a chemist with NOAA Fisheries. Cody enjoys hiking Juneau’s numerous trails, watching marine mammals, and plans to build a pizza oven in his backyard this summer.

Meeting February 23rd

February 2023 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Strategies for Improving Figures of Merit in
Ion Mobility Spectrometry

Featuring Dr. Caleb Morris,
Assistant Professor at Murray State University

Thursday, February 23rd

at Bethel University
Student Center, Activities Room A
101 Wildcat Ln, McKenzie, TN 38201

Dinner @ 6pm / Presentation @ 7pm
Deli Sandwich Buffet w/ Chips & Brownies
($10 Members/$5 STudents)

Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) uses the combination of buffer gas and electric fields to separate ions based on their gas phase mobilities. This separation occurs on the order of milliseconds, pairing well with common separation techniques. It can be paired with mass spectrometry as a pre-separation technique or as a secondary separation after liquid or gas chromatography. It can also be used as a single separation method for the analysis of explosive residue, chemical warfare agents, and industrial contaminants. The stand-alone IMS devices often need to be portable to allow for measurements at various sites of interest. Due to size constraints on the mobility cell, these portable instruments are limited in separation capability compared to more conventional laboratory IMS instrumentation. Significant improvements have been made to the separation capabilities of larger conventional IMS designs. By combining these improvements in technology and design, it is now possible to create a new generation of portable, high resolution IMS instruments. These new device models are currently being investigated to ensure improved separation capability and enhanced analytical flexibility for this class of IMS instrumentation.

Dr. Morris graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. His undergraduate research spanned a number of projects, from the investigation of natural product synthesis pathways to proteomic analysis of human and bovine tissue. His doctoral work in chemistry was under the direction of John McLean at Vanderbilt University. There, he focused on the characterization of ion mobility separation, with a special interest in the effect of drift gas. He worked on developing mathematical descriptors for the prediction of analyte behavior in ion mobility-mass spectrometry and explored improvements in ion mobility analysis utilizing various drift gases. He recently came to Murray State University where his research focus is on the design and optimization of portable ion mobility spectrometers.

Meeting January 26th

January 2023 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

The Development of Germ-busting
Light-based Technologies

Featuring Dr. Violet Bumah,
Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UT Martin

Thursday, January 26th 

at Murray State University
1212 Jesse D Jones Hall
Murray KY 42071

Dinner Catered by The BUrrito Shack:
Taco Bar w/ Chicken or Beef
($10 Members/$5 STudents

Multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDROs) in hospital and community environs have surged and are of concern to the health care system due to the enormous burden of increased morbidity, mortality, and cost. As a part of an ongoing effort to find a solution to this problem, a paradigm shift from antibiotic therapy, to the use of certain wavelengths and pulsed characteristics of light to inactivate these microbes is investigated.

Recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an innovative antimicrobial pulsed blue light technology was developed and tested. Results indicated that this device is antiviral against HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E—two surrogates of SARS-CoV-2. In further studies, another antiviral light panel with multiple colors—including white—that could replace light fixtures in homes, offices, clinics, and vehicles, was tested. Data obtained support the claim that, it is possible to develop and deploy a cost-effective light fixture as an environmental decontaminant that can inactivate viruses and other microorganisms.

Dr. Violet Bumah is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Physics, University of Tennessee-Martin. Prior to joining the Faculty at UT Martin, Dr. Bumah worked as a Research Professor at San Diego State University. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Following graduation, she was recruited as an Assistant Program Manager at the United Nations World Food Program in Cameroon. Dr. Bumah was a recipient of the Prestigious Fulbright Senior Research scholarship to the Fienberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Chicago. Furthermore, Dr. Bumah received the Burroughs Welcome Fellowship as a Senior Scholar where she pursued her research on host-pathogen interactions and the development of potential vaccine candidate antigens against malaria. More recently, her research has focused on the mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial effects of blue light.

Meeting November 3rd

Kentucky Lake / Nashville / Memphis
Joint Local Section ACS Meeting

Sponsored by Aegis Sciences Corporation and Zochem. 

Austin Peay State University
Sundquist Science Complex

Mock Interviews 4:00-5:30pm
College & Career Fair 5:30-7:30pm
FREE Dinner 6:00–7:00 pm
Mini-Seminars 7:00-8:30pm

Event information: The event will take place from 4-8:00 pm on Thursday, Nov 3. Students may participate in any or all parts of the night. Dinner will be provided free of charge thanks to our two sponsors: Aegis Sciences Corporation and Zochem. 

Directions and Parking: The career night will take place in the first-floor atrium of Austin Peay State University’s Sundquist Science Complex, with seminars taking place in the adjoining lecture halls. Address: Sundquist Science Complex, 8th St, Clarksville, TN 37040. Anyone who arrives before 4 pm will need to contact APSU’s parking office at or 931-221-7275, in order to obtain a parking permit. You do not need a permit if you arrive after 4:00 pm. The closest parking will be lot 8. 

Mock interviews (4-5:30 pm): Mock interviews will last 15-30 minutes depending on the number of participants. Every attempt will be made to accommodate time preference and career interest matching with interviewer. You must sign-up in advance (by Nov 1) using this link:

College & Career Fair (5:30-7pm): There are currently tables reserved for each of the following 11 Schools (6 chemistry graduate programs: ETSU, MTSU, Murray, TN Tech, U of Memphis, Vanderbilt. 1 STEM teaching graduate program: UT Martin, and 4 pharmacy schools: Belmont, Lipscomb, Union, UTHSC)

Local Section Breakout (6:30 pm): KLS Election Results

Meeting October 11th

Kentucky Lake Section ACS Meeting
National Chemistry Week Demo Show

Live from The University of Tennessee at Martin
258 Brehm Hall

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022
Dinner @ 6:00–6:45 pm, Demo Show @ 7:00 pm

Dinner: BBQ, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, & Coleslaw
Dinner Price is $10 (Students $5)

Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics

National Chemistry Week this year celebrates the theme, “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics.” When you start to unravel this theme a bit, you’ll find chemistry worth celebrating. From the layers of plastic fibers in N95 masks; to linen tablecloths made from the flax plant; to hydrophilic cotton and hydrophobic nylon; to smooth, strong silk made from insect cocoons—the history and uses for fabrics is nothing short of fabulous.

Come join our Local Section as we kick off National Chemistry Week a bit early—hosting our annual chemistry demonstration exchange with demos provided by our SMACS chapters.

Meeting September 20th

September 2021 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Mass Spectrometric Analysis
of Organic Compounds
Extracted From Prehistoric Greek Pottery

Presented by Vernon Stafford

Ph.D. Student, UT Knoxville (Dr. David Jenkins Lab)

Vernon Stafford

Tuesday, September 20th 2022 

at Union University Carl Grant Center
Jackson, TN 38305

Dinner @ 6:00 pm, Presentation @ 7:00 pm

Dinner Menu: Caesar Salad, Chicken Marsala, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Buffet Potatoes (Hashbrown Casserole), Sautéed Green Beans, and Chocolate Explosion w/ ice cream

Dinner Price is $10 (Students $5)

The analysis of physical artifacts is the chief method by which archaeologists and anthropologists can gain information about prehistoric societies. Ceramic pottery, a common artifact and very porous material, can absorb and trap organic compounds related to the substances originally processed in them, protecting those compounds from oxidative and bacterial degradation and preserving them for thousands of years. This is especially true for fatty acids, which are hydrophobic and less prone to water leeching, and are also a primary component of many foods. We have taken advantage of this phenomenon to conduct chemical analysis on cooking pots from the prehistoric site of Mitrou, Greece, occupied during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. In order to extract fatty acids from these vessels and relate them to their original substance, we have employed a combined procedure that both extracts fatty acids from the vessel and converts them to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in a single step. These FAMEs were then analyzed by three different gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques. In particular, we performed qualitative analysis by GC-EI-MS, quantitative analysis by GC-APCI-MS, and compound-specific isotope ratio analysis by GC-C-IRMS. By these methods, we have discovered a shift in cooking practices that coincides with the rise of the more dominant Mycenaean society, providing evidence for the suppression of the local Mitrou culture in favor of the external one. This analysis represents one of the first of its kind conducted on cooking pots from this region and era, and sheds light on how local societies may have interacted with larger foreign ones.

Bio: Vernon Stafford graduated from Union University with a B.S. in chemistry in 2017. During his time there, he served as an officer in Union’s SMACS chapter and did summer research under Dr. Joshua Williams, evaluating the quality and purity of commercial fish oil dietary supplements using quantitative NMR and ICP-OES. Since, then, he has been in pursuit of a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville under the direction of Dr. David Jenkins. His research focuses on the analysis of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) extracted from prehistoric Greek pottery, with the goal of answering questions of anthropological relevance. In addition, he is interested in developing an improved method for the determination of wine residues in ancient ceramics. Outside of his research, Vernon has spent time participating in UT’s ACGS chapter, teaching undergraduate courses, mentoring undergraduates, and managing one of the department’s high-resolution mass spectrometers. He plans to graduate in Spring 2022.

Fall Picnic and Meeting August 25th

 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

Annual Fall Picnic

Thursday, August 25, 2022
5-8 pm

Bailey Pavilion at Central Park
Gil Hopson Drive, Murray KY

Dinner at 6pm:
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and Veggie Burgers with picnic-style sides and desserts

The price is $10 (Students $5) 
Join us for a fun, laid-back, family-friendly opportunity to meet and visit with your local chemistry colleagues.  After dinner, we’ll take a few minutes to talk about the fall meeting schedule and update you on local section news.


In the News: Calloway County High School student wins first-place in CCEW Illustrated Poem Contest

Kerrigan McManus, a student at Calloway County High School, recently won the first-place national award among high schoolers participating in this year’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Illustrated Poem Contest.  This year’s contest theme was “The Buzz About Bugs: Insect Chemistry.”

The Murray Ledger and Times recently featured Kerrigan’s win.  Read the article here.

Congratulations Kerrigan!


Meeting April 14th

APRIL 2022 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting

3D Printers: Enabling Tools for Chemical
Research and Education

Featuring Dr. Daniel Johnson, Murray State University

Thursday, April 14th 

at Murray State University
1212 Jesse D Jones Hall
Murray KY 42071

3D Printing WorkshoP 5–6pm
Undergraduate Poster Session 5:30–7PM
Dinner 6–7PM
Presentation (& KID’s Science Center) 7–8PM

Dinner Catered by The BUrrito Shack

Abstract: Over the past decade, three-dimensional printing (3DP) has become an important tool in technical contexts ranging from the hobbyist “maker” movement to construction and high-performance manufacturing.  Indeed, an exponential growth of papers that mention the use of 3DP illustrates a transformative potential for both chemical research and education.  The purpose of this presentation is to introduce chemists to various 3DP strategies and how they could be deployed in their work.  Different styles of 3DP will be described, along with their relative merits and the types of materials that can be printed.  Then, some applications of 3DP, both from the literature and our experiences at MSU, will be discussed.  Finally, some projects with a reverse perspective, i.e., where novel chemistries can broaden the application of 3DP, will be highlighted.