Meeting/Event Information

    Holiday Party with Prof. Dick Co: "Solar Fuels: Turning Thin Air into Gasoline" PLUS Iota Sigma Pi, Food&Toy Drive

    December 14, 2018
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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    North Central College, Wentz Science Center
    131 S. Loomis Street
    Naperville, IL 60540

    MISSED THE MEETING? Watch the video! (includes Q&A):


    Prof. Dick Co

    - Northwestern University -
    Chemistry Department & ANSER Center

    "Solar Fuels: Turning Thin Air into Gasoline"

    Holiday Party and
    Joint meeting with the Iota Sigma Pi
    (Honors society of women chemists)


    Many of today’s prevalent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are inherently intermittent.  Energy generation ceases when the sun goes down or when the wind stops blowing.   Reliance on such irregularity and unpredictability is not practical in today’s digital, electrified world.   Thus, energy storage is a critical piece to deeper penetration and adoption of alternative energy. Solar fuels can be broadly defined as technologies that harness the sun’s energy and store that energy in the form of chemical bonds (fuels). Liquid solar fuels technology has enormous potential to supply carbon-neutral energy to satisfy the expected growth of global demand over the next decades.  It can provide near-term fungible fuels that will enable industry to take full economic advantage of existing infrastructure, while delivering a clear path toward new fuels for the future. Researchers from around the globe are actively pursuing research in this field, but a chasm exists between academic research and the realization of an economically viable device that generates fuel directly from solar energy. In this talk, I will highlight solar fuels, state of the art technologies, and present a strategy that hones in on the very definition of “innovation” to commercialize solar fuels technologies. I will also present a simple educational outreach activity (ages 9-99) that illustrates first-hand how light energy from the sun is captured and converted into another form of energy (electricity).


    • 5:30 - 6:30  Registration and Social Hour
    • 6:30 - 7:30  Dinner 
    • 7:30 - 7:35  Introductory remarks by Ken Fivizzani, Chicago Section Chair
    • 7:35 - 7:50  Iota Sigma Pi raffle results and distribution of Chicago ACS door prizes
    • 7:50 - 7:55  Presentation of the chair's gavel to Tim Marin, incoming 2019 Chicago ACS Chair
    • 7:55 - 9:00  Program by Prof. Co


    • MAIN SITE (With live speaker): North Central College (Naperville, IL)
    STREAMING LOCATION: Purdue University Northwest (Hammond, IN)


    MAIN SITE: North Central College BUFFET:
    • Baked penne alfredo with roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes
    • Chicken florentine
    • Caesar Salad, roasted vegetables, parmesan garlic bread
    • Tiramisu
    • Lemonade, iced tea, water

    REMOTE SITE: Purdue Northwest University No dinner provided, but you are welcome to bring your own


    Dinner Registration Deadline: 12:00 Noon on Monday, December 10
    Lecture-only Registration Deadline: 12:00 noon Thursday, December 13

    QUESTIONS OR NON-WEB RESERVATIONS?  Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]).


    The Aurum Iodide (Chicago) chapter of the honors society for women chemists is raffling four gorgeous chemistry-themed cutting boards. (You should be familiar with this sweet structure!) Tickets are $5 for one, $20 for five, and you may purchase them when registering for the meeting.


    We will be collecting nonperishable food items on behalf of the local Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry (a non-profit organization established to provide food and personal care essentials to residents in need.) CHECKS ARE WELCOME TOO! Please do not donate food in glass containers.

    We will also continue our drive to collect toys for toddlers to 12 year olds. The toys will be donated to the Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center in Chicago, which provides services for couples seeking to adopt children in the US or overseas, birth parents, and foster children. Please do not donate clothing.


    Thank you to Netzsch Analysis & Testing for helping to sponsor us this year!
    If you would like your company to sponsor Chicago ACS, simply add a Sponsorship contribution when you register. It's easy!

    Further, consider donating to Chicago ACS to support our programs in the last meeting of 2018. We're a 501c(3) nonprofit, and donations are 100% tax-deductible. Your contributions do wonders for programs like Project SEED (providing paid summer research jobs for economically disadvantaged high schoolers), high school scholarships, and activities of our Younger Chemists, Minority Chemists, and Women Chemists committees. Simply add a donation to your cart when you register, and specify the amount you want to give. Easy-peasy!


    Per tradition, Chicago ACS Hospitality Chair Richard Cornell has assembled a vast panoply of door prizes for everyone in attendance. Come find out what curiosities are in store!


    The Section Historian will bring out newly-organized photo albums with pictures from the Section archive. Please help identify the people, places, dates, and events depicted! Results will be recorded in photo captions, and credit will be given to those who provide information. See recent "Who Is This?" articles in the Chemical Bulletin for examples: NOV, OCT, JUNE

    HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA - C-H-I-C-Ag-O T-shirt

    The chemists in your life would all love to proclaim their dual identification with Chicago and chemistry with our signature "Chicago Elements" t-shirt. Pay for it when you register, and pick it up at the meeting! Just specify the size when you order. No muss, no fuss.


    As a research professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, Dr. Dick Co has authored nearly 30 publications spanning early-stage commercialization strategies to ultrafast photochemistry of solar materials. Previously, he served as a Camille & Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Mentor and Director of Operations of a U.S. DOE Energy Frontier Research Center ($39mm budget over 9 years). During his decade at Northwestern University, Dr. Co co-founded and led the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI) as Managing Director. In that role, he was invited by the U.S. Department of State in 2016 to keynote the inaugural U.N. Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum. SOFI is a global consortium of universities, national labs, and industry united behind the outcome of commercializing renewable energy storage solutions, sustainable fuel generation, and carbon utilization technologies. Dr. Co has been quoted in various media outlets, including the New York Times, MIT Technology Review, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, and Congressional Quarterly. Dr. Co is an Executive Scholar at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and he holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University and B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. He is now Principal of Co Strategy Partners, a global strategy consultancy he founded in 2018 to focus on sustainable fuels and the built environment (construction and housing), and CEO of PC Technologies LLC, a startup company specializing in the design and production of STEM educational outreach kits to inspire the next generation of students.



    North Central College
    Wentz Science Center, Ratio Hall (2nd floor)
    131 S. Loomis St.
    Naperville, IL  60540


    PARKING: free



    Purdue University Northwest
    Gyte Building, Room 240
    2200 169th St.
    Hammond, IN  46323


    PARKING: Free

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    $20.00 MAIN SITE - Member

    $20.00 MAIN SITE - AIChE Member

    $22.00 MAIN SITE - Non-member ticket

    $0.00 MAIN SITE - Lecture only

    $0.00 REMOTE SITE #1 - Lecture-only

    $0.00 Individual Donation (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Company Sponsorship (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Donation to Project SEED (flexible amount)

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue

    $5.00 ONE 2018 Iota Sigma Pi raffle ticket - chemistry cutting board

    $20.00 FIVE 2018 Iota Sigma Pi raffle tickets - chemistry cutting board