The February 2021 Chemical Bulletin Print

    Next Meeting

    ACS February Meeting 2021

    - Dr. Clara Granzotto -

    Assistant Conservation Scientist,
    The Art Institute of Chicago

    "Exploring Organic Molecules in Works of Art"

    7:00 PM, Thursday, February 11
    Virtual Meeting


    Works of art are complex systems made from diverse materials, from mineral pigments to synthetic polymers to organic substances obtained from plants and animals. Studying the artists’ materials can provide important information on the artifacts’ manufacture, the trade and sourcing of materials, and it can be helpful in developing effective conservation strategies. Several analytical techniques can be used to this purpose and, among these, mass spectrometry-based techniques have emerged that are capable of providing precise information about the composition and origin of biological materials. In this talk we will explore the materiality of an ancient Egyptian cartonnage, a group of 20th century drawings, and a zoomorphic figure from Mali through mass spectrometry.

    Granzotto talk - mummy

    Register Now


    Dr. Clara Granzotto recently joined the Art Institute of Chicago as the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Conservation Scientist. She was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservation Fellowship to develop a simple analytical strategy based on MALDI-MS for the identification of protein, lipid, and polysaccharide media from a single art or archaeological sample. Dr Granzotto received her Ph.D. in chemical sciences from the University of Venice, Italy, and the University of Lille, France. She went on to gain postdoctoral experience in several museum scientific research departments, including research at the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts at Northwestern University, the Department of Scientific Research at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Natural History Museum of Denmark, a part of the University of Copenhagen. Dr Granzotto specializes in the analysis of traditional organic binding media by mass spectrometry, with a focus on polysaccharides and proteins.

    The Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago Cultural Alliance


    • 7:00 - 7:05  Announcements - Sherri Rukes, Chair
    • 7:05 - 8:00  Main talk - Dr. Clara Granzotto
    • 8:00 - 8:10  Time for Questions

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

    TEACHERS! All K-12 educators can receive continuing education credits for attending our meetings. When registering, use the "Registration with CPDU/CE credit" ticket


    $0.00 Member registration
    $0.00 Guest registration
    $0.00 Registration WITH CPDU / PD Credit

    $0.00 Individual Donation (flexible amount)
    $0.00 Company Sponsorship (flexible amount)
    $0.00 Donation to Project SEED (flexible amount)

    Winter/Spring 2021*

    Friday, March 12
    Friday, April 23
    Friday, May 21
    Friday, June 18

    * Check for the most up to date information


    Open to Section Members

    Thursday, February 4
    Thursday, March 4
    Thursday, April 15
    Thursday, May 6
    Thursday, June 10
    Thursday, August 5


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    Recent Meeting

    Monthly Meeting Programs on Video

    Videos of recent presentations can be accessed at the Chicago ACS Section website [ / Events / Videos of Past Meetings] or by going directly to  The section’s archive home page ( can also get you to the list. Thanks to Milt Levenberg for working out the video technology.

    2020-2021 Programs Available Online

    May Sean Casten "A Conversation with a U.S. Representative"
    June Dwight Chasar "Chemistry Is For The Birds"
    September Sherri Rukes "Poly What? Application of STEM Using Polymers"
    Josh Kurutz "125 Years of Chemistry in Chicago"
    October Darryl Boyd Introducing STEM to Elementary-Aged Children"
    November Zhenan Bao "Skin-Inspired Electronics"
    December Bruce Fouke "Universal Biomineralization"
    January 2021 Richard Rateick "Interesting Topics in 19th Century Iron and Steel Making"



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    Safety First Minute

    What are PFAS, and why are they everywhere?

     - A “Safety First!” Minute -

    Harmful PFAS found in drinking water.
    State issues consumption warning for fish over PFAS contamination. 
    PFAS exposure may increase risk of severe Covid-19.

    Headlines such as these appear daily in newspapers and magazines around the world. What are PFAS, how do they impact the environment and our health, and why do they seem to be everywhere?

    The acronym PFAS refers to a class of compounds called per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances. This class of compounds encompasses thousands of substances that have been used for almost 75 years as polymerization aids in the manufacture of fluoropolymers, as additives for stain- and water-resistant coatings and textiles, and as surfactants in fire-fighting foams for gasoline, fuel, and other solvent fires. The signature characteristic of these “forever chemicals” is their exceptional stability due to the presence of strong carbon–fluorine bonds, making them chemically inert and resistant to breakdown either in the environment or our bodies. PFAS accumulate in water and soil, as well as animals and humans, and have been detected in environmental samples across the globe.

    The most widely studied―and pervasive―compounds in this class are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), C7F15CO2H, and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), C8F17SO3H, and their salts. Epidemiological data for people exposed to high levels of PFAS at manufacturing sites in West Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan and elsewhere have linked these compounds to a wide range of health effects, including changes in liver function, impaired immune response, and possible reproductive and/or developmental effects. IARC, the International Agency for Research on cancer, classifies PFOA as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

    In the United States, large-scale contamination of water supplies with fluorinated compounds predominates in areas near military bases due to the use of these materials in fire-training exercises. Various PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, are specified as primary ingredients in aqueous film-forming foams for extinguishing airplane fuel fires. More than 175 military sites nationwide have reported PFAS levels up to 100 times the recommended advisory limit in groundwater and drinking water supplies. Cleanup operations are underway, and the Department of Defense has outlawed the use of PFAS-containing foams for maintenance, testing and training. When needed for emergencies the foams are treated as a hazardous spill to prevent discharge into the environment.

    Neither PFOA nor PFOS is currently manufactured in the United States. Worldwide production and use of these compounds has also been curtailed by the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty enacted to minimize the effects of these and other “persistent organic pollutants.” Encouraging signs relative to the declining use of PFOA and PFOS are offset, however, by their replacement with newer, different, untested chemicals. They are being replaced by chemicals with shorter perfluoroalkyl chains, such as C4 and C6, by partial substitution of –CF2– groups in the fluorinated alkyl chains with –CH2– groups, and by breaking up the perfluoroalkyl chains with ether and other functional groups. These strategies are intended to increase the possible biodegradation and metabolism of the substances while preserving their functionality. The basic premise of this strategy has not been validated.

    We can demonstrate a Safety First! commitment to environmental health and safety by supporting government policies that require manufacturers to study the possible toxic effects of chemicals intended for consumer use.

    Submitted by Irene Cesa

    Have an idea for a Safety First! Minute? Send ideas to Irene at:


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    Letter from the Chair

    Thanks everyone who attended our January monthly meeting, which included the annual session with our colleagues from AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers).  It was a wonderful event! And it was great seeing so many familiar faces and new ones in our virtual gathering.

    We had more than 130 members and friends attend the meeting to hear a fascinating and historical look at the rise of the blast furnace.  Rick Rateick,  Adjunct Assistant Research Professor at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana and CEO of REXP2 Research, gave  a presentation that chemists of all ages and levels could enjoy, appreciate, and learn from.  It was interesting to hear how and why the blast furnace is designed the way it was and all the chemistry that goes on in making steel.  I came away from the meeting wanting to learn more about the subject.  If you missed our monthly meeting, please go to and choose Videos of Past Meetings [under Events] to view the video of the talk.

    Even though January is over, the year is off to a great start! We have several meetings and talks planned with guest speakers from around the Chicagoland area, in addition to well-known speakers from across the country.  Please look at our calendar for information about our future meetings.

    For our February talk, the Chicago Art institute will join us.  They will discuss their conservation efforts for some of our beloved treasures.  This will be another talk that I believe all our members and community members will enjoy. It will be a fascinating look at the connections between art and chemistry.

    Please take note that we have moved our beloved Gibbs Awards night until the fall.  We hope this will allow us to provide either a hybrid or in-person event to honor our 2021 winner, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer of Yale University.  We are trying to stay reasonably optimistic for what the future might bring. 

    In May, we would like to have a virtual celebration for all educators and students who made it through the unprecedented school year.  The plan is to have Raychelle Burks of Outrageous Acts of Science and ACS Reactions short video clip series speak.   Please join us as she speaks about the fascinating insights on chemistry and pop culture. 

    We also have many other great opportunities for our members and community alike planned.  Virtual events, contests, and celebrations for Earth Day and National Chemistry Week are just a few things planned for the year ahead.  Be sure to check the website for updates, information and opportunities to participate in all the fun and excitement we have in store!

    If you have any comments, questions or ideas, please reach out to me:

    Sherri C. Rukes


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    For Teachers

    A New Resource for Teachers
    + the Community Alike!

    Chemistry Shorts is a new series of brief films that spotlight innovative ways that chemists and chemical engineers are working to solve important problems and create new opportunities. Each film is accompanied by a lesson plan that offers suggestions on how to integrate it into the classroom. The first three films and lesson plans (listed below) are available at

    Chemistry Shorts is also on YouTube and Twitter. This venture is sponsored by The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation and is endorsed by ACS, AACT (American Association of Chemistry Teachers), and AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers).

    “communicating the breadth & depth of chemistry’s impact on humankind”

    Teacher Kit Information & Updates

    The Chicago ACS Section has 50 K – 12 educator experiment kits. These kits will have supplies and instructions for teachers to use in their classroom. Please fill out the linked form to sign up to receive a kit. Kits will be available in late January / early February at several locations. Videos about the activities will be linked on the website for teachers to be able to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ about an activity. There are over 12 experiments that can be performed multiple times. Topics with this kit include:

    • Stoichiometry •

    • Intermolecular forces – making a lava lamp •

    • Gas properties and laws – growing marshmallow, inflating a balloon, fire extinguisher •

    • Density •  Crystal formations  •  Solutions  •

    • Types of compounds •

    • States of matter and properties of matter •

    More kits will be available throughout the year for teachers to do demonstrations and labs with their students. Please stay tuned for more information about the forthcoming kit, which is tentatively scheduled to be out in late March / early April.


    ALL K-12 Educators can receive Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for attending our Monthly Meetings. Register for the meeting as a “CPE” or “CPDU” attendee at


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    College Education

    Virtual Symposium Day Planned for
    Saturday, February 27, 2021

    We anticipate that the Virtual Symposium Day will be a unique opportunity for students to present in the virtual environment and for members of the Chicago ACS Section to learn about the amazing research being done by students and their mentors at colleges and universities in the greater Chicago metro area

    Greetings on behalf of the Chicago ACS College Education Committee, a part of our Section’s Education and Outreach Division. The College Education Committee exists to work with the ACS Student Chapters in the territory of the Section (which includes northwest Indiana) to assist with their growth and the professional development of students. This includes preparing and hosting activities during National Chemistry Week and Chemists Celebrate Earth Day. During the past few years, we have also enjoyed bringing opportunities for under-graduate students to present their research work in the form of posters at our Monthly Section Meetings. Perhaps you or a student of yours has participated in the past.

    With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Section has elected not to meet in person for Monthly Meetings. Instead, our meetings have convened virtually, which has its benefits and rewards. However, there have been no opportunities for students to present posters during those events.

    We are acutely aware that for students, engaging in the enterprise of education has been especially stressful and challenging, and hardly conducive to conducting research in the laboratory. We realize that some students may have been able to work on their projects and that they may have reached some meaningful conclusions. Perhaps some students even have posters ready to present, but have nowhere to present them. Therefore, the College Education Committee is organizing a Virtual Symposium Day for undergraduate students in order to offer them a chance to present the results of their research to the Chicago Section audience and practice presenting their posters prior to the ACS Spring 2021 Meeting which will take place online from April 5–16, 2021.

    If you have a student ready to present a poster, or planning to present a virtual poster at the ACS Spring 2021 Meeting, what better way is there to showcase their work locally and give them a chance to practice presenting in the virtual environment? There will even be some prizes available for the best posters as judged by the Committee!

    The Virtual Symposium Day will be held on Saturday, February 27. Undergraduate students who wish to present a poster may register at the link accessible on the Chicago ACS Website. Students presenting posters will be instructed to load their poster into a secure location beginning on February 25 so that it can be viewed by members of the Section prior to the presentations. On Saturday, February 27, students will join a teleconference on Zoom where they will share their screens and deliver 15-minute presentations about their work, with a few minutes for Q&A from the audience. The event will be moderated by a member of the Chicago ACS College Education Committee.

    We hope that you will encourage your students to present their work and we hope to see you online for the presentations on February 27!


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    Sponsors of this issue

    IIS Masters Program


    Reach prospective clients in academia, industry and government by advertising in The Chemical Bulletin. For more information call the Section office at (847) 391-9091.


    Please let the section office know what your new email address is so that you will not miss any issues of The Chemical Bulletin or other section information. Contact the office at (847) 391-9091 or


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    From the Editor's Desk

    Dear Readers,

    It has been my good fortune, for over a dozen years now, to work as the personal assistant to a Chemistry Nobel Laureate here in the Chicago area. One of the perks to this situation is that I get to be in contact with prominent chemists all over the world and to learn about their scientific research. Quite frequently, we are asked by individuals to nominate them for a prize or award offered by the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Wolf Foundation and many others, including even the Nobel Prize. A nomination ‘package’ typically consists of a carefully prepared set of documents: a letter of nomination, a curriculum vitae, a statement of scientific or volunteer achievements, and a list of significant publications or other measures of esteem highlighting the theme of the award. Those who have submitted nominations for ACS Fellowship know well the work involved in getting all the documentation ready. This type of effort takes place in academic as well as in industrial settings. I look at this work as an opportunity to help launch an individual chemist, or group of chemists, into the next level of success and recognition.

    In addition, there are letters to be written in support of nominations made by others in the chemistry and materials science communities.

    For early and mid-career chemists in the Chicago ACS Section, keep an eye out for award opportunities and offer to prepare a draft letter to make the nominator’s task easier. Take advantage of the initiatives offered by ACS to jump-start or further your career – webinars, job-search resources, letter- and grant-writing workshops, employment counselors, forums to present your research, and much more. Our bulletin archives also contain valuable job-related advice and suggestions. 

    Please stay well as the pandemic continues. I hope you enjoy this issue.  You are welcome to send suggestions and questions to [email protected]. Thank you.

    ~~ M. E. S. ~~


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    State of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    OUTBREAK EVOLUTION ACROSS THE GLOBE: Cumulative cases reported on May 1, 2020 (185 days, top) and January 26, 2021 (370 days, bottom) after the start of the pandemic (defined as 50 cases reported).

    COVID map on May 20, 2020

    COVID map on Jan 26, 2021


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    Great Lakes Regional ACS Meeting

    Great Lakes Regional Meeting
    June 6–9, 2021

    "Elevating the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Chemistry"

    • GLRM 2021 will be held virtually, hosted by the Minnesota Local Section. Abstract submission is now open with a deadline of March 1st. A list of proposed symposia is on the main web page. Submissions can be made at by clicking on the abstract submission link. Meeting registration opens March 1st.
    • Information about nominations for four awards – Stan Israel Award for Advancing Diversity (deadline March 1st) • Ann Nalley Award for Volunteer Service • Partners for Progress and Prosperity Award • Excellence in High School Teaching Award can be found on the website by clicking on the awards link. The latter three awards nominations are due April 1st.

    GLRM 2021


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    Upcoming Events


    For information on future meetings and events please refer to the Section’s website, Chicago ACS Section Social Media, and future bulletin issues. See aboves for monthly meeting dates.

    February 27 – Virtual Symposium Day (see article above)

    April 5–16, 2021 – ACS Spring National Meeting, virtual: 2nd Century of Macromolecular Chemistry

    April 18 – 24 – Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) – Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

    April 18–23 – AIChE 2021 Spring Meeting and 17th Global Conference on Process Safety

    June 14 – 16, 2021 – 25th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, Reston, VA, “Sustainable Production to Advance the Circular Economy”

    August 22 – 26, 2021 – ACS Fall National Meeting: Resilience of Chemistry

    September 17 – Gibbs Medal Award Dinner


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    Board & Committee Members

    Chicago ACS Leadership for 2021

    2021 Chicago Section Officers

    Chair Sherri Rukes
    Chair-Elect Mark Cesa
    Past Chair Paul Brandt 
    Vice Chair Michael Koehler
    Secretary Aleka Baranczak
    Treasurer Jason Romero

    Directors   (

    Directors, 2020-2021

    Veronica Berns
    Mark Cesa 
    Lauren Jackson
    Katie Leach 
    Michael Morello
    Rebecca Sanders 
    Vivian Sullivan
    Julia Wiester

    Directors, 2021-2022

    Omar Farha
    Katherine Gesmundo
    Samantha Harvey 
    Margy Levenberg
    Jana Markley
    Oluseye (Kenny) Onajole

    Councilors   (

    Councilors, 2019-2021

    David Crumrine 
    Margy Levenberg 
    Milt Levenberg  
    Inessa Miller 
    Susan Shih  

    Councilor, 2020-2022

    Ken Fivizzani

    Councilor, 2021-2023

    Paul Brandt
    Russ Johnson 
    Fran Kravitz

    Alternate Councilors   (

    Alternate Councilors, 2019-2021

    Katie Leach
    Tim Marin
    Rebecca Weiner

    Alternate Councilors, 2020-2022

    Josh Kurutz
    Omar Farha
    Ilana Lemberger

    Alternate Councilors, 2021-2023

    Mark Cesa   
    Sherri Rukes  
    Becky Sanders 

    The Chicago Section’s committees adopted a new structure in January 2020. Five divisions now compose the Chicago ACS board: Administration, Communication, Education & Outreach, Membership, and Science. Our various committees are grouped within this division structure where common themes, goals, and purposes align. We have purposefully included a means for succession planning for our Committee Chair and Division Chair roles and a mentoring strategy for the people working within them. We anticipate that this structure will bring us increased efficiency, impact, and effectiveness.

    SECTION CONTACT INFORMATION: The following email addresses corresponding to committees roles should be appended with: (e.g., [email protected])


    [email protected]
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    Communication Division
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    Membership Division
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    Education & Outreach Division
    [email protected]

    [email protected]
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    Science Division
    [email protected]

    [email protected]
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    Administrative Division
    [email protected]

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[email protected]
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    For additional information see:

    The mission of the Chicago Section of the ACS is to advance the chemical sciences and their practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.


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    This puzzle first appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Chemistry Distillations, the newsletter of the Department of Chemistry, College of William & Mary. Robert Pike has given permission to reproduce it here.

    February 2021 crossword


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    Bulletin Information

    January 2021, Vol. 108, No. 2

    Published by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society

    Editor: Margaret E. Schott

    Online version: Josh Kurutz

    Proofreaders: Helen Dickinson, Ken Fivizzani

    ACS Chicago Section Office
    Address: 1400 Renaissance Drive,
    Suite 312
    Park Ridge, IL 60068  (847) 391-9091
    [email protected] 

    Monthly:  September – June (10 issues)

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