Senior Takes Top Honors at Regional Chemistry Poster Competition
EKU senior chemistry major Michael Mazzotta took first place at the 2012 Regional Undergraduate Chemistry Poster Session hosted by the University of Kentucky’s Department of Chemistry. Each year students from local universities compete for the top $300 prize, sponsored by the Lexington Chapter of the American Chemical Society. On April 13, 2012, 30 students presented their research for this year’s competition on a wide variety of topics. Mazzotta’s work, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Darrin Smith and funded by EKU’s Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP), involves the analysis of 11 ionic liquids to be used to solubilize lignocellulose biomass. One impediment to commercial production of plant-based biofuel is the extraction of fuel-producing sugars from the lignocellulose in the walls of plant cells.