May 2017 - ACS Axial | ACS Publications

Overcoming Barriers to Publication Success

Getting published in a prestigious journal is a challenge for any researcher. But even when the science is strong, language problems can sometimes undermine a submission.

After submitting his manuscript to the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), lead author Joey Zhouyuan Li of Tsinghua University was pleased to receive positive comments from the journal.

“My research focuses on the ecological restoration and regional climate change in the fragile grassland ecosystem in China, applying macroscopic observation and remote sensing,” said Li. “It is a kind of study not frequently published in ES&T. I was encouraged by the comments from the reviewers and the Associate Editor.”

However, Li also received criticisms on some details and a request for a major revision. After Li revised the manuscript to the satisfaction of the Associate Editor, there was still one more hurdle to overcome. “You need to improve the English for comprehension and grammar,” noted the Associate Editor in the decision letter. Using a link included in the letter, Li turned to ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services for assistance with language editing.

“We naturally went to the ACS Publications website to solve the language problem,” said Li. “When we chose ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, our aim was to get the language of the manuscript polished and edited in a short amount of time. We believed that ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services would provide efficient and high-quality support, with professional, experienced English editors.”

Since March 2014, ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services has been helping scientists communicate research results more effectively. While English editing is by far the most popular service, ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services also assists authors with figures, formatting, and translations. It is important to note that ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services does not guarantee acceptance; it helps polish a manuscript prior to submission to a high-impact publication.

After receiving Li’s manuscript, the staff at ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services took the first step in the process. They matched the manuscript to an expert editor based on the field of study.

“Our editors have research experience and are deeply familiar with their respective areas of chemistry and related sciences,” said Brandon Jernigan, Ph.D., Operations Director at ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services. “Each editor has received or is completing an advanced degree at a top U.S. research university or institute, and all editors are continually assessed to ensure that they meet our high-quality standards.”

Since Li had selected Premium Language Services, his manuscript received all of the edits performed for the Standard Services, such as fixing spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word choice. In addition, the editor corrected sentence constructions made improvements to transitions and flow and ensured a consistent style throughout the manuscript. Another benefit of the Premium Services, which Li especially valued, was a summary

“We were satisfied with the professional quality of the manuscript editing,” Li said. “But the most impressive part of the process was the letter summarizing all of the comments in a personalized way. These honest and accurate suggestions for improving our English and writing style will be truly helpful for improving future writing by our research team.” After incorporating the changes recommended by ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, the article was published in ES&T.

Second from left, Dr. Zhouyuan (Joey) Li, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, with colleagues and partners from Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“ We had confidence in the quality of our science and the significance of our research,” said Li. “But with an all-Chinese research team, it was challenging to present it internationally in English. By getting the article published, it has received the attention around the world that we believe it deserves.”

Make your research shine with ACS ChemWorx Authoring Services, go to

What Chemists Do: JenKem Technology’s Mark Frishberg

Mastering the step-by-step synthesis of pharmaceuticals is no small feat. Throw in developing medical machinery and you have an enduring commitment to science. Mark Frishberg has been captivated by chemistry since the age of 6. Watch as he discusses his lifelong passion and the pursuit of chemistry as a career, not just a first job.

The What Chemists Do video series highlights just how many different careers are possible with a background in chemistry. Watch more videos.

ACS Editors’ Choice: Engineering Molecular Crystals

This week: Engineering molecular crystals, spatial-temporal dispersion of airborne nanomaterials during the use of spray consumer products and estimated the level of consumer inhalation exposure, green synthesis of conjugated linoleic acids — and more!

Each and every day, ACS grants free access to a new peer-reviewed research article from one of the Society’s journals. These articles are specially chosen by a team of scientific editors of ACS journals from around the world to highlight the transformative power of chemistry. Access to these articles will remain open to all as a public service.

Check out this week’s picks!
Conformational Heterogeneity and DNA Recognition by the Morphogen Bicoid

Biochemistry, Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00255
Defect-Assisted Photoinduced Halide Segregation in Mixed-Halide Perovskite Thin Films

ACS Energy Lett., 2017, 2, pp 1416–1424
DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.7b00282
Spatial–Temporal Dispersion of Aerosolized Nanoparticles During the Use of Consumer Spray Products and Estimates of Inhalation Exposure

Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00211
Engineering Molecular Crystals: Backbreaking, yet Gratifying

Cryst. Growth Des., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00210
Robust Solid-Contact Ion Selective Electrodes for High-Resolution In Situ Measurements in Fresh Water Systems

Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00130
Fast Surface Acoustic Wave-Based Sensors to Investigate the Kinetics of Gas Uptake in Ultra-Microporous Frameworks

ACS Sens., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.7b00014
Green Synthesis of Conjugated Linoleic Acids from Plant Oils Using a Novel Synergistic Catalytic System

J. Agric. Food Chem., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00846
Love ACS Editors’ Choice? Get a weekly e-mail of the latest ACS Editor’s Choice articles and never miss a breakthrough!

Submit ACS Publications Travel Grant for Librarians Applications By June 23rd

ACS Publications is excited to announce our call for applications for our Travel Grant for Librarians and Library School Students to attend the 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC (August 20-24, 2017).

ACS Publications is encouraging librarians who have never attended ACS National Meeting, or who have not attended in the last five years, to apply for this travel grant. This is an opportunity to network with the community of librarians, researchers, exhibitors, and ACS staff at this national conference. Full-time library school students are also encouraged to apply to network and learn more about the exciting field of academic librarianship.

Learn more about the ACS National Meeting from our previous Travel Grant recipients:

Applications are now being accepted. Please see below for application requirements and submission instructions.

Program Details:

Amount: Up to $2500 for travel expenses + registration to the conference

Number of Awards: Up to two available per meeting

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Full-time librarian, or full-time library school student at an ALA-accredited institution
  • Never attended an ACS National Meeting, or have not attended in the last five years, and be able to attend the entire conference (August 20-24)

Expectations of Awardee:

  • Attend the ACS Division of Chemical Information Welcoming Reception and Poster Session (Sunday)
  • Meet with ACS Publications staff during National Meeting
  • Serve on the Award Committee for the next National Meeting travel grant
  • Write an article for ACS Axial ( after the meeting on their first time experience, advice, and takeaways from the meeting

An institutional subscription to ACS Publications is NOT required.

Award Committee:

  • Previous Travel Grant Recipients and ACS Publications staff

To apply for the travel grant, please submit the following in a single PDF to Michael Qiu,

  • CV or Resume
  • Short essay (no more than 750 words) on how attending the ACS National Meeting will benefit your education/career and what you hope to get out of attending the conference
  • Professional References (Optional)

Applications are due Friday, June 23, 2017 at 5 PM Eastern Time. Applicants will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours. Award recipients will be contacted no later than Wednesday, July 5.

Questions? Please contact Michael Qiu, Library Relations Manager,

ACS Omega Listed on Web of Science™

Almost a year ago, ACS Publications launched ACS Omega as a uniquely global open access journal. In 2017, the journal continues to grow rapidly in submissions and prestige. Recently ACS Omega achieved a milestone in its development, being listed on the Web of Science™ Core Collection as part of the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). Being included in the ESCI provides greater early visibility for the journal and increased citations at an important stage in its growth.

Unlike some journal indexes, publishing experts curate the Web of Science™ Core Collection’s journal selection. To be included in the ESCI, a journal must be peer-reviewed and meet high ethical publishing standards, as well as technical requirements. Finally, before a journal can be included, it must be recommended or requested by the user community of the Web of Science™. The inclusion of ACS Omega in the ESCI is a sign of the journal’s bright future and the impact its authors will have in years to come.

ACS Omega publishes high-quality original articles from across all aspects of chemistry and allied fields. The journal is led by 4 prestigious co-Editors from across the globe: Cornelia Bohne, Luis M. Liz-Marzán, Krishna N. Ganesh, and Deqing Zhang. Together, they give the journal a uniquely global focus that promotes new voices and new ideas from around the world. ACS Omega does not make subjective judgments about an article’s impact, but encourages emerging fields and multidisciplinary research. The journal also offers expedited manuscript handling and simplified formatting requirements, leaving authors free to focus on science.

View ACS Omega research on the Web of Science™

Very Low Lead Exposure May Endanger Eagles

Even extremely low levels of lead may hamper the flight and movement of golden eagles, a new study in Sweden shows. The findings add fuel to a debate over the use of lead ammunition in hunting, the main source of lead to the birds.

Eagles and other scavengers can be poisoned by eating carcasses that contain fragments of lead shot. Above a certain threshold, the neurotoxic element impairs birds’ ability to fly and walk, and can lead to starvation and death. To learn more about how eagles in the wild may be affected by lower levels of lead exposure, scientists are now monitoring their activity with new lightweight tracking devices—backpacks fitted with a GPS transmitter that weigh only 70 g.

Frauke Ecke of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and her colleagues trapped wild adult golden eagles in northern Sweden and took small blood samples to test for lead. Then they fitted the birds with the backpacks, released them, and monitored their movement and flight height for up to two years. Of 16 eagles the researchers analyzed, those with higher lead exposure moved around less and flew at lower heights, on average, than those with the lowest levels of lead. Flight height and movement were reduced by 10% for lead exposure of only 25 ppb. That is one-eighth the level considered the upper limit for background exposure, based mainly on studies of captive birds.

The researchers argue that this background limit should be lowered based on their results. “In the eagles we handled, there was no sign that they might be affected or poisoned,” Ecke says.

Though Sweden, the U.S., and other countries have banned the use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl, it is still commonly used for hunting big game and other animals. A ban on the use of lead shot in U.S. wildlife refuges signed in the last days of the Obama administration was recently overturned by the Trump administration.

This article is reproduced with permission from C&EN (© American Chemical Society). The article was first published on May 12, 2017

Image Credit: Ian Duffield/Shutterstock

19 of the Hottest Research Topics in Chemistry

ACS Publications brings you regular collections of the hottest research topics in chemistry research. Our Virtual Collections include Virtual Issues, Special Issues and Thematic Collections of chemistry research from ACS Publications journals. These collections reflect important chemistry research topics of current scientific interest and are designed for experienced investigators and educators alike.

Read Important Chemistry Research Topics from Q1 2017.

Polymer Bioconjugates in Biology and Medicine

Polymer Bioconjugates in Biology and Medicine
The interface between polymer science and bioconjugate chemistry is home to an active group of scientists who seek to combine the best of both worlds: the chemical versatility of polymeric architectures with the biological function of naturally occurring molecules. In recent years, novel methodologies have been developed, both in the area of polymer science as in the field of bioconjugate chemistry, which have now opened up opportunities to construct conjugates with unprecedented level of control. This selected group of recent publications, from the macromolecules journals family – ACS Macro LettersBiomacromolecules, and Macromolecules, along with Bioconjugate Chemistry as well as Chemical Reviews, offers evidence of this progress and serves as an example of how the advances of the last half-decade in polymer synthesis can be combined with the evolved sophistication of biological macromolecules to access new materials. We hope this collection of publications will provide insight into recent developments in the area while also providing inspiration to those seeking to develop the next generation of bioconjugates.

NMR Developments and Applications

NMR Developments and Applications
This virtual issue focuses on developments and applications in NMR spectroscopy and is a collaborative effort between two journals, Analytical Chemistry and The Journal of Physical Chemistry B & C. The papers have been selected as recent examples of innovative methods and interesting applications of solution and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The goals of this special issue are to highlight advances in NMR spectroscopy and provide insight into how new methods can be deployed to address a number of important measurement challenges and study a range of materials and biological systems.

Medicinal Chemistry in India

Medicinal Chemistry in India

We are excited to highlight medicinal chemistry research in India in this ACS Virtual Issue collection of recently published articles in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. The articles were selected by Guest Editor Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Director of the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu, India. The selected articles cover a broad range of medicinal chemistry topics including infectious diseases, oncology, inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiac, and neglected diseases.

Editorial Advisory Board and Editors’ Top Picks for 2016

Editorial Advisory Board and Editors' Top Picks for 2016

On the occasion of its 60th volume anniversary, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry is recognizing the valuable contribution of its Editorial Advisory Board by putting together a collection of top favorite articles from 2016 that are picked by our dedicated Editorial Advisory Board members. Additionally, the collection includes J Med Chem Editor’s Choice and Featured Articles in appreciation of our authors for their high quality contribution to the journal and the medicinal chemistry field. We hope that this collection, which covers a broad range of topics, will be of interest to our readers and will inspire our authors to contribute their fantastic discoveries to J Med Chem.

“B” is for Biophysics

“B” is for Biophysics

This collection contains 25 papers published in the biomolecules and biomaterials sections of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B since 2014. The idea is to increase the visibility of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B among biophysicists and biochemists and lower the barriers between the respective fields of research. We hope that the selected articles demonstrate the useful interplays between techniques of physical chemistry and problems in biophysics and biochemistry and will motivate further biologically oriented molecular studies.

Computational Studies of Pyrolysis and Upgrading of Bio-Oils

Computational Studies of Pyrolysis and Upgrading of Bio-Oils
This Virtual Special Issue recognizes biomass pyrolysis, an advanced technology that has the capacity to convert a large amount of non-food, low energy-density raw biomass into high energy-density transportation fuel within short processing times, and has moved to the forefront of biomass thermochemical conversion in the last decade. The collection features 1 Perspective and 11 Articles with topics ranging from high-fidelity particle-scale computational fluid dynamics simulation of biomass pyrolysis to techno-economic analysis of bio-oil refinery operation, as well as pyrolysis reaction kinetics and advanced experimental characterization of biomass particles and bio-oil. We would be glad to the see the continued advancement of biomass pyrolysis and hope that this VSI can bring valuable biomass pyrolysis and bio-oil upgrading insights to the scientific and industrial communities.

The Catalysis of Organic Reactions

The Catalysis of Organic Reactions
This collection contains 15 papers published in Organic Process Research & Development by researchers who attended the 26th meeting of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, a biannual meeting that was held in Miami, Florida in March of 2016. The use of reaction catalysts is vital for enabling a wide range of industrial organic processes, and we hope the articles included below advance the catalysis of organic transformations.

Radicals in Action: A Festival of Radical Transformations

Radicals in Action: A Festival of Radical Transformations
In this ACS Select Virtual Issue, we are excited to highlight 24 articles from 2015 and 2016 published in Organic LettersThe Journal of Organic Chemistry, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society that focus on the astonishing variety of chemical transformations enabled by radicals. These articles highlight the important contributions and vast potential of radical chemistry for both academic and industrial chemists.

Global Neuroscience: Brazil

Global Neuroscience: Brazil
As brain-focused research initiatives are established around the world, Brazil shines as an example of South America’s rise in the field. Organizations such as the BRAIN Institute at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal (ELS-IINN), and the Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology (BRAINN), serve as examples of recently established institutions dedicated to promote the growth of the neuroscience community.

2D Materials and Beyond

2D Materials and Beyond
Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, work on atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) materials has progressed rapidly across a diversity of scientific and engineering subfields. The types of 2D materials available has been ever growing and now includes insulators, (e.g., hexagonal boron nitride), semiconductors (e.g., transition metal dichalcogenides, TMDs), and additional semi-metals (e.g., black phosphorus). From these new materials, a wide array of optical, mechanical, chemical and electric phenomena have been realized in 2D crystals produced using top-down exfoliation, or bottom-up synthesis (e.g., by chemical vapor deposition, CVD). As 2D material science has become a mature field in-and-of itself, several key advantages have emerged that can be leveraged for new experimentation and device creation. These advantages include the amenability of 2D materials toward top-down and bottom-up lithography methods; their pliability and ability to be mechanically strained to create new structure–property–function relationships; and their unique chemistry, with large surface areas that lead to properties that are highly environmentally dependent.

Honoring 2017 Wolf Prize in Chemistry Recipient Robert G. Bergman

Honoring 2017 Wolf Prize in Chemistry Recipient Robert G. Bergman
Robert G. Bergman is honored in this Organometallics Virtual Issue as the 2017 recipient of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. In 1972, he discovered a transformation of ene-diynes later identified by others as a crucial DNA-cleaving reaction in several antibiotics that bind to nucleic acids. It was in the mid-1970s that Bergman’s research broadened to include organometallic chemistry, which led to contributions in areas such as the development and study of the reaction mechanisms of migratory insertion and oxidative addition reactions and the seminal work on alkane carbon-hydrogen bond activation that led to his receiving the Wolf Prize in Chemistry this year.

Invited Papers from ACS San Diego

Invited Papers from ACS San Diego
This Virtual Special Issue is devoted to papers from authors who made outstanding presentations at the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego, California. We asked session chairs and symposia organizers within divisions that align with I&EC Research’s subject areas to identify the best presentation from their session. These presenters were invited to submit a manuscript to be published in I&EC Research. Following rigorous peer review, each accepted paper is published with a note indicating that it was an invited contribution as a result of an outstanding presentation at the ACS San Diego meeting. The topics covered include synthesis of polymeric materials that offer sustainability advantages, electrochemical systems, CO2 capture, tissue engineering, nanomedicine, drug discovery, and fundamentals of catalysis that can find energy-related applications. I&EC Research is delighted to showcase these twenty papers and feature these authors. The invited speakers are indicated below by their name in bold.

Fundamental and Applied Reviews in Analytical Chemistry

Fundamental and Applied Reviews in Analytical Chemistry
Anyone who doubts that analytical chemistry is a vital discipline should be directed to this issue of the journal. We invited over 20 authors to review developments in instrumentation and applications in selected areas of chemical analysis. They describe stunning advances in a variety of methods and applications. Clearly, analytical tools are getting cheaper and more available as seen in reviews on paper microfluidics, 3-D printing, digital assays, and point of care diagnostics. Several reviews tackle the impact of nanoscale and novel materials as enabling technology for a variety of sensors and assays.

Biomaterials for Immunoengineering

Biomaterials for Immunoengineering
It is an exciting time for the burgeoning area of biomaterials immunology. In the past few years, a surprising amount of research activity has blossomed, in which investigators seek to engineer immunity for a wide range of therapeutic and biotechnological goals. One has only to attend a biomaterials or bioengineering conference or to glance at the papers being published in journals such as this one to realize that immune engineering, biomaterials immunology, and their related endeavors have become recently energized.

Lead-Free Metal Halide Perovskites

Lead-Free Metal Halide Perovskites
The success of achieving high efficiency solar cells with methyl ammonium lead halide perovskites has enabled the field to explore new lead-free perovskite materials. The challenges of operational stability of organic lead halide perovskites and the environmental concern of the heavy metal content have led to the design of new perovskite materials. This virtual issue focuses on the recent developments in the area of “lead-free” metal halide perovskites. The papers compiled in this issue highlight initial success in synthesizing new classes of perovskite materials. The low power conversion efficiency and stability of these new perovskite materials still pose major hurdles with respect to finding suitable replacements to the lead-based compounds. Concerted efforts are needed to overcome these barriers, to make lead-free perovskites a contender for photovoltaic applications.

Computational Design of Functional Materials

Computational Design of Functional Materials
In this special issue of Chemistry of Materials on the subject of Computational Design of Functional Materials, we have invited a spectrum of researchers, ranging from early career scientists to established experts in the field, to showcase the use of computational techniques and address a variety of problems in materials chemistry. The nature of the materials studied covers the gamut from 2D transition metal dichalcogenides to oxides to hybrid framework materials and clathrate compounds. The material functions followed also span the range from semiconducting properties to mechanical properties to radiation stability, magnetic materials, and materials for energy storage applications. A particularly pleasing and somewhat unanticipated aspect of this special issue is that so many of the contributions combine experimental inputs in ways that have allowed for theory/experimental materials co-development. The era of theory versus experiment has clearly transitioned to an era of theory and experiment.

DNA Polymerases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Human Diseases

DNA Polymerases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Human Diseases
DNA polymerases play a central role in maintaining the integrity of genetic information, as these molecular machines carry out numerous DNA transactions. DNA polymerases can also be harnessed for biotechnology applications related to toxicology, specifically in the detection of DNA damage. The CRT virtual issue collection highlights a variety of approaches and systems to understand the molecular details of how DNA polymerases interact with the results of toxicant exposure.

Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogels

Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogels
This special issue on “Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogels”, guest-edited by Prof. Itamar Willner, aims to highlight recent advances in the synthesis, characterization, and applications of stimuli-responsive hydrogel materials. Accounts provided by experts in the field will discuss chemical methods to assemble stimuli-responsive hydrogels, physical methods to characterize hydrogel materials at micro- and nanoscales, and the various means to integrate stimuli-responsive hydrogels with nanomaterials to yield materials exhibiting emerging optical and electronic functions. The issue will attempt to provide the broad range of current and anticipated applications of these materials in designing drug release systems, sensors, imaging materials, actuators, switchable catalysts, and devices. The interdisciplinary impact of stimuli-responsive hydrogels on chemistry, biology, physics, electronics, and materials science will be on display.

Mark S. Gordon Festschrift

Mark S. Gordon Festschrift
Mark turns 75 this year!! It is our pleasure and privilege to organize this virtual special issue in honor of Mark’s many scientific accomplishments and personal interactions throughout his career.

Get Access to More of the Hottest Chemistry Research Topics

Journal of Natural Products Names Best Papers of 2016

The Journal of Natural Products selected the best papers published in the journal during 2016, recognizing their authors with a pair of awards.

The 2017 Arthur E. Schwarting Award goes to Silas Anselm Rasmussen, Sebastian Meier, Nikolaj Gedsted Andersen, Hannah Eva Blossom, Jens Øllgaard Duus, Kristian Fog Nielsen, Per Juel Hansen, and Thomas Ostenfeld Larsen. The award names their research, “Chemodiversity of Ladder-Frame Prymnesin Polyethers in Prymnesium parvum,” as the best paper published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2016.

The 2017 Jack L. Beal Award goes to Nathan P. Lavey, Jesse A. Coker, Eliza A. Ruben, and Adam S. Duerfeldt. The award recognizes their research, “Sclerotiamide: The First Non-Peptide-Based Natural Product Activator of Bacterial Caseinolytic Protease P” as the best paper in the Journal of Natural Products by younger researchers in 2016. The winners of this award must be within 12 years of receiving their Ph.D. degree or within 10 years of gaining their first professional appointment.

Selection for these awards is very competitive. The editors Daneel Ferreira, A. Douglas Kinghorn, Cedric J. Pearce, Philip J. Proteau, and Steven M. Swanson name the initial nominations for the awards. A panel consisting of Shmuel Carmeli of the University of Tel Aviv, Israel), Mark Hamann of the Medical University of South Carolina, and Amy Wright of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University made the final award selections.

The awards, now in their 16th year, were created in partnership with the Foundation Board of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and are named for two important former editors of the Journal of Natural Products. Recipients of the awards will receive a check and a plaque from the Foundation of the American Society of Pharmacognosy in honor of their achievement.

Learn more about the research published in the Journal of Natural Products.

Announcing the 2017 Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication

The article “Ash Transformation Chemistry during Combustion of Biomass” by Dan Boström, Nils Skoglund, Alejandro Grimm, Christoffer Boman, Marcus Öhman, Markus Broström, and Rainer Backman is the winner of the 2017 Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication. Energy & Fuels and the ACS Division of Energy & Fuels sponsor this annual award, which honors an outstanding article published in the journal within the past five years.

“This is a milestone paper on the fundamental ash chemistry related to ash transformation reactions during combustion of woody biomass,” says Energy & Fuels Editor-in-Chief Mike Klein. “The paper provides a useful and concise conceptual model for guiding the understanding the behavior of ash matter during thermochemical processing and utilization of any biomass fuel.”

Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication Session at the 2017 ACS Fall National Meeting

As the corresponding author of the paper recognized by the 2017 Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication, Dan Boström will present at an ACS Division of Energy & Fuels session in honor of the paper at the 2017 ACS Fall National Meeting in Washington, D.C. Energy & Fuels and the Division encourage you to attend the session. Check the ENFL program for the Fall National Meeting later this summer to get more details!

An Interview with the Winning Authors

I recently connected with the paper’s authors to learn more about their award-winning work and what they’ve done since. Here are the highlights of our conversation.

What follow-up research have you and/or your co-authors done since publishing this award-winning paper?

The award-winning paper represented an attempt, at that time (2012), to compile and create a comprehensive summary of our work in the field of ash transformation during conversion of biomass in terms of a generalized conceptual model. We have since used the model as a foundation for other research on a variety of topics and also attempted to refine it further.

As pointed out in the paper, we were – and still are – well aware of the lack of fundamental data which are crucial for the model in several respects and we have made efforts to remedy these knowledge gaps. Additionally, the paper describes a concept with a schematic model for reactivity where there exists a need for more detailed studies regarding reaction rates during conversion of biomass.

To mention some of the research performed recently, we have published several studies that have utilized the suggested model to predict suitable blend ratios in co-combustion of various biomasses and waste streams. This has proven a highly suitable approach that sidesteps several of the issues inherent in methods like simple fuel indices, because it takes all main ash-forming elements into consideration rather than simply focus on a couple of molar ratios.

The model has been useful for expanding the knowledge regarding the role of phosphates and silicates and the ash transformation reactions have been further defined to include primary, secondary, and tertiary reactions depending on the reactants.

What fields have benefited the most through the publication of this work?

We believe that research related to conversion of any biomass has benefited from this work. The ash content of various biomasses is very heterogeneous in nature and there is a need of generalized descriptions of ash-forming reactions based on fundamental and simple inorganic high-temperature principles. In the extension of course also industrial and societal stakeholders have benefited from this work.

What do you see as the biggest remaining challenges you foresee in the field that need to be addressed in the next five to 10 years?

Our model is based on thermodynamic principles. Kinetic aspects are only qualitatively regarded, which is a shortcoming. A realistic and more complete description of energy conversion of biomass requires a comprehensive combination of fuel conversion reactions, ash-forming reaction, kinetic restrictions and fluid dynamics. The thermodynamic model also needs completions and refinements on a number of points.

What are you and your co-authors working on to address these challenges?

We have been investigating fundamental alkali phosphate – silicate phase relation – which is crucial information for ash forming reaction in especially agricultural related biomass products. We are collaborating with other groups in order to integrate the perspectives of conversion reactions and mechanisms as well as kinetic considerations and fluid dynamics. The group also performs in situ characterization of fuel conversion with laser spectroscopy to determine partial pressures of important reactants and local conditions surrounding fuel particles during fuel conversion. Together, these efforts contribute to closing some of the identified knowledge gaps and are used to refine the conceptual model.

Want to read more work by these award-winning authors? Click each one’s name to see all of his articles in ACS Journals – Dan Boström, Nils Skoglund, Alejandro Grimm, Christoffer Boman, Marcus Öhman, Markus Broström, and Rainer Backman.

Get to Know C&EN Global Enterprise


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C&EN Global Enterprise is a lasting digital version of C&EN’s award-winning magazine that advances the reader’s experience and adds new capabilities requested by librarians. C&EN’s authoritative journalism spans the latest research advances, the business and policy trends that are changing our discipline, crucial chemical safety data, job and career information, and more, brought to you by the world’s largest scientific society.

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