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July 24, 2007

Contact: Ann Holdsworth
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Six Professors to Present ‘Interdisciplinary Material Innovations’
at American Chemical Society Meeting

HOUSTON, July 24, 2007 – From turning gasoline into electricity to improving the operation of energy-saving devices, University of Houston professors are working on a number of breakthroughs they plan to showcase at the next American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting Aug. 19-23 in Boston.

With applications in consumer electronics and furthering fuel cell research, the presentations of a half dozen UH researchers will be unveiled at the 234th ACS conference. Founded in 1876, the ACS – the world’s largest scientific society – hosts two national meetings a year. The theme for the August meeting is “Material Innovations: From Nanotech to Biotech and Beyond,” covering a broad range of topics on interdisciplinary material innovations and featuring approximately 15,000 scientists and 9,000 abstracts.

Five professors with the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department of Chemistry and one professor with the Cullen College of Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering will conduct presentations.

• Rigoberto Advincula, associate professor of chemistry, with co-authors, will present a paper on conjugated polymers and hybrid nanomaterials that are useful for energy conversion devices and display devices. The hybrid materials emit light or generate photo-current for use in consumer electronics and energy-saving devices.
• Arnold M. Guloy, associate professor of chemistry, with co-authors, will present the exploratory work in rare earth suboxides that leads to the discovery of two new compounds with new structure types. The structure-bonding-property relationships are investigated by performing theoretical calculations and magnetic property measurements.
• Michael P. Harold, professor and department chair of chemical engineering, is presenting his research on a Pd membrane reactor that converts a fuel, such as gasoline, propane or methanol, into a high-purity stream of hydrogen, which can then be used to make electricity in a fuel cell.
• B. Montgomery Pettitt, Cullen professor of chemistry, is conducting two presentations on the fundamental advances made in liquid state theory in the last two years. He will apply these new methods to demonstrate how the macromolecules of life recognize each other.
• Boris Makarenko, a research assistant professor of chemistry, and J. Wayne Rabalais, professor emeritus of chemistry and vice president for research at Lamar University, will discuss how the preferable adsorption position of sodium atom on copper surface is determined experimentally for the first time, which is fundamentally important and can promote catalytic reactions, enhance oxidation and increase electron emission rates.

For more information about the ACS meeting and to access a schedule of presenters and presentations, visit

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