Chemistry Major Wins Award for Presentation

Eastern Kentucky University senior chemistry major Casey Howdieshell of Kevil was awarded the Oak Ridge Association of Universities (ORAU) Best Presentation in Analytical Chemistry after presenting at the 46th Southeast Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) held at the University of Tennessee.

Students from universities across the region presented at the conference. Howdieshell’s work was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Darrin Smith and supported by EKU’s Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT). 

The study involves the storage conditions of switchgrass where the biomass was kept at three different storage conditions, hooped, tarped, and uncovered, and then sampled at monthly intervals for 13 months.  These samples were then subjected to pre-treatments and saccharification processes (related to subsequent biofuel production).  Analysis with ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography with corona aerosol detection (UPLC-CAD) generated data to determine the identity and concentration of sugars present and then correlate the effect of the storage conditions to sugar production.

Published on February 11, 2014