Thursday, January 24, 2008 Meeting
Joint with the AIChE
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren Dr. Jennifer Holmgren

Director of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals Business,
UOP, Des Plaines, IL

Biofuels: Unlocking the Potential

Date:  Thursday, January 24, 2008  - note, Thursday, not Friday
Location:    European Crystal Banquet Center
519 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL

Cost:  $34 for members of ACS and their guests, $36 for non-members,
     $17 for students or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-647-8405), fax (847-647-8364), email (, or web by noon on Tuesday, January 22.  PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed.


5:00 - 6:00 PM   Job Club
5:00 - 6:00 PM   Pre-dinner Program
5:30 - 6:30 PM  Thinky Demonstration
5:30 - 6:30 PM  Social Hour
6:30 PM  Dinner
7:45 PM  General Meeting

Biofuels: Unlocking the Potential

Abstract:    Government policy is driving substitution of petroleum feedstocks by biologically derived feedstocks. However, as biofuels become increasingly pervasive, the debate over the potential of biofuels to become a sustainable source of liquid transportation fuels continues. Much of this debate is accentuated by the low yield of biofuels from existing food stock, the poor energy balance of existing biofuels and the lack of production and distribution networks.

This paper will examine the key drivers for the increased production of biofuels as well as the potential risks. In addition, it will outline the elements which could enable the creation of a sustainable biofuels infrastructure; factors which range from the selection of the feedstock (algae, cellulosic), to approaches to improve the energy balance and to create fungiable fuels which can utilize existing distribution networks and be used in existing automotive fleets. The importance of alliances and relationships in enabling the development and implementation of new technology which can transition biofeedstocks from mandated to advantaged sources of fuels and chemicals will also be presented.

See an article about algae as a bio-fuel with a quote from Dr. Holmgren.

Biographical Sketch:  Jennifer Holmgren is Director of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals Business at UOP LLC. This group will commercialize UOP technologies based on renewable resources to the market. Prior to this assignment, Jennifer was Director of Exploratory and Fundamental Research at UOP LLC. This group was accountable for UOP’s strategic R&D portfolio and delivering new tools and methods.

Jennifer received a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont California, a Ph.D. in Inorganic Materials Synthesis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jennifer was a member of the R&D Reengineering Design Team, which redefined UOP’s technology commercialization methodology. She was the first Chair of R&D’s Technical Community Organization. She currently serves on multiple external advisory boards. She is the author or co-author of 50 US patents, 20 scientific publications and is the 2003 recipient of the Council for Chemical Research’s (CCR) Malcolm E. Pruitt Award.

Predinner Speaker:

Dr. Eric Carroll Brown,  Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Loyola University of Chicago

To Bond, Or Not To Bond. How "Aromatic" are "Homoaromatic" Molecules?

Despite the many opinions on what "Aromaticity" is, virtually all agree that "Aromatic" molecules are energetically stabilized by a particularly efficient type of bonding, and that Huckel's Rule is satisfied.  In "Homoaromatic" molecules, the atoms are arranged in forms reminiscent of simple aromatic annulenes. However, here it is found that many molecules that have been termed "Homoaromatic" do not possess the appropriate electron density topologies which indicate that there are, in fact, bonding arrays between the atoms. We make predictions as to how the molecules must be engineered in order to synthesize a truly homoaromatic system, and support these predictions with the results of high-level electronic structure theory simulations.

Thinky Mixer Demonstration

Michael Pfeifer from Process Technology Engineering will demonstrate a Thinky mixer at the Jan 24, 2008 Chicago Section meeting. Thinky mixers use a non-contact mixing method to enable simultaneous mixing and de-aerating. The material container rotates and revolves at 400G acceleration, enabling fast mixing of materials to form a uniform material with no air bubbles. Even difficult to mix materials can be uniformly mixed with a Thinky mixer.

Attendees at the meeting can bring samples of materials for mixing trials. Samples must meet the following criteria: 1) no outgassing of toxic or noxious fumes before or after mixing, 2) be less than 150 ml total volume, and 3) be less than 250 grams total mass. Contact Michael at with any questions about your samples. The materials to be mixed are simply added to a mixing cup and the cup is placed in the mixer. Now, if the mixer only revolved during processing, the mixture would get pressed outwards, air bubbles would be eliminated, and the mixture itself would begin to separate. To counter this, Thinky mixers also rotate the cup about the center of its axis during the mixing process. This brings the contents back into the center. This method of mixing enables:

· Dispersion at primary particle level.
· De-aeration down to sub-micron size.
· Mixing in seconds to minutes.
· Uniform mixtures of many types of materials.
· Reduction of the amount of solvent or emulsifier required for dispersion.

For materials that foam excessively during mixing Thinky offers mixers with vacuum de-aerating capabilities. Thinky mixers come in six different sizes based on the maximum volume and mass of the materials that can be mixed. For more information and some examples of mixed materials go to

Be sure to stop by to see a Thinky mixer demonstration at the January Section meeting!

Map and Directions

Parking:  Free


Cream of Tomato Soup
Garden Salad
Vegetable medley of broccoli, baby carrots & rutabaga
Choice of:

Apple Crumb Cake

Updated 1/17/08