Chemistry Department

Seminar Series

Union College Department of Chemistry Seminar Series

The Chemistry Department runs a weekly seminar series throughout the academic year. It includes talks by industrial, academic, and government chemists on their research, panel discussions on career opportunities for chemistry graduates, advice from graduating seniors on how to apply to graduate schools, and workshops on writing cover letters and resumes.

Please note that all seminars are scheduled for Thursdays at 12:50 PM in Lippman Hall 016, unless otherwise noted. Food and drink will be provided!

Seminar schedule - Fall 2019

Thursday, November 14th

Dr. Gyu Leem, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, SUNY ESF, will be joining us to discuss “Solar-driven Biomass Conversion Using a Dye-sensitized Photoelectrochemical Cell.”

Abstract: Dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells (DSPECs) offer a means of using renewable solar energy to drive energy-intensive chemical conversions. In the context of generating solar fuels (H from water, CO2 reduction coupled to water oxidation), the requirement for multi-electron, thermodynamically demanding reaction steps has limited the solar energy conversion efficiency of DSPECs. Stepping outside the immediate context of solar fuels, this presentation will describe the use of a DSPEC photoanode with a hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mediator specifically designed to carry out chemoselective oxidation of benzylic alcohol moieties in lignin model compounds and real lignin in non-aqueous media. This unique approach exhibited a high conversion efficiency and long-term photocatalytic stability for the oxidation of lignin model compounds. Highlighted here will be the preparation, characterization, and applications of the polypyridyl Ru chromophore-HAT catalyst assemblies, surface-bound to TiO2, which possess a variety of photophysical and photoelectrochemical properties. Overall, DSPECs utilize a solar-driven catalytic conversion of woody biomass into value-added fuels and chemicals under aerobic mild conditions.