Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Welch Foundation Awards $330,000 to UTSA chemistry researchers

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(Sept. 27, 2010)--Chemistry professors Cong-Gui Zhao, Banglin Chen and Doug E. Frantz in the UTSA College of Sciences will together receive $330,000 from the Welch Foundation over the next two years to develop more effective chemical reactions to assemble important compounds and materials.

Associate Professor Cong-Gui Zhao will receive $130,000 to improve the way chemists make organocatalysts, carbon-based molecules used to speed up chemical reactions. Traditionally, chemists make organocatalysts from scratch, a time-consuming and laborious process. Zhao, however, will design and produce pre-catalyst modules, which will self-assemble when mixed. By developing a series of chemical building blocks, Zhao will create a chemical assembly line, reducing the time and labor it takes to develop a series of effective catalysts for a given chemical reaction.

Through $100,000 in support from the Welch Foundation, Associate Professor Banglin Chen will carry out research on the self-assembly of new metal-organic porous materials for gas storage, gas separation and other chemical processes. Chen's research team already has developed and patented porous materials for commercial acetylene storage, separation and removal. Acetylene is used in plastic production, welding and metal cutting. Over the next two years, the researchers will focus on how the metal ions in porous materials recognize and interact with various types of gases and develop functional porous materials for gas storage and separation.

The remaining Welch Foundation funding will support Assistant Professor Doug Frantz's research on allene synthesis. Allenes are an important class of molecules that serve as the building blocks for various compounds including new drugs and biologically active natural products. Using hydrogen-transfer processes, Frantz's research team will provide chemists with a practical and powerful tool to synthesize allenes for academic and commercial use.

Based in Houston, the Welch Foundation is one of the nation's largest and oldest private funding sources for chemistry research. The foundation primarily supports researchers at Texas institutions of higher education.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
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6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

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Vaquerocation 2015

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