Past ACS National Meetings

Spring 2013 Meeting in New Orleans

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM


245th ACS National Meeting – New Orleans, LA: 7-11 April 2013

Call for Abstracts for the Geochemistry Division


Abstract Submission System:

Deadline: October 22, 2012



Advances in understanding the chemistry of light elements at environmental interfaces

 Light elements, such as phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), nitrogen (N), carbon (C), boron (B), aluminum (Al) and silicon (Si), are either essential life-sustaining nutrients or major elements composing earth materials. These light elements are very reactive at environmental interfaces, such as mineral/water, mineral/organic matter/microorganisms and plant/soils, thus controlling the biogeochemical cycling of these elements. However, determination of the interfacial reaction mechanisms and chemical speciation of light elements is hindered by the inadequacy of conventional analytical approaches, especially for heterogeneous environmental samples with chemically complicated compositions. Recently, significant instrumental advances in X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for light element analyses have been achieved, making it possible to characterize their sorption behaviors, speciation and spatial distribution in complex environmental samples at the molecular scale. This session will focus on the applications of novel approaches, including but not limited to XAS, NMR, vibrational spectroscopy, stable-isotope techniques, molecular modeling and surface complexation modeling, in understanding interfacial reactions (e.g., sorption), speciation and biogeochemical cycling of light elements in natural and laboratory systems.

Symposium Organizers:

Donald L. Sparks

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, 153A Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19713 USA



Mengqiang Zhu

Geochemistry Department, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 307 McCone Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720



Wei Li

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, 153A Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19713 USA



Approaching the surface: Interrogating chemical interactions at the mineral-water interface.

The role of mineral surfaces in the transport and transformation of transition metals and organics is central to our understanding of critical chemical, biological, and environmental processes (e.g. scale formation and inhibition in industrial applications, nutrient acquisition by plants and microbes, and contaminant fate in the subsurface). Various techniques, including, but not limited to, surface spectroscopy, bulk solution analysis, and theoretical modeling, have been employed to investigate both the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical interactions of transition metals and/or organics at the mineral-water interface. The heterogeneity of the systems under investigation pose unique challenges compared to solution-phase studies. This session aims to illustrate the advantages (and limitations) of the various approaches in overcoming these challenges by highlighting recent research that has advanced our understanding of important processes at the mineral-water interface.  


Symposium Organizers:


Nathan Boland

Department of Chemistry, Whitman College, 345 Boyer Avenue, Walla Walla,

WA  99362



Amanda Mifflin

Departmentof Chemistry, University of Puget Sound, 1500 North Warner

Street, Tacoma, WA  98416




Mineral and organic matter aggregates in natural environments 

Multiscale aggregates of minerals and organic matter are ubiquitous in a wide range of natural environments such as soils, river plumes and aquatic sediments. The physical and textural/structural properties of the aggregates, such as size, porosity, mineral to organic matter ratio and shear strength, control important geological, environmental and agricultural processes such as organic matter stabilization, resistance to erosion, contaminant or nutrient affinity and water retention. At the same time, biogeochemical properties such as mineralogy, organic matter chemistry, redox conditions, and pH and ionic strength of the aqueous matrix exert major controls on aggregate physical and textural properties.


This special session aims to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers who study the physical and biogeochemical processes and properties associated with natural aggregates in various environmental settings. The objective is to yield a cross-disciplinary understanding of the current state of art and to bring to light the emerging issues that can advance the science of natural aggregates.


Session Organizers


Yoko Furukawa

Seafloor Sciences Branch

Naval Research Laboratory

Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529



Allen Reed

Seafloor Sciences Branch

Naval Research Laboratory

Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529



Guoping Zhang

Civil & Environmental Engineering Department

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803




Redox processes at mineral-water interfaces and their impacts on metal biogeochemical cycling and contaminant remediation

In the natural environment, redox reactions involved in biotic and abiotic processes at mineral-water interfaces are important in controlling the biogeochemical cycling of major and trace elements. Minerals in aqueous environments, including soils and sediments, may directly engage in electron transfer reactions or catalyze redox reactions at biotic and abiotic interfaces. The resulting redox transformations impact the mineralogical composition and reactivity of the solid phase matrix, as well as the speciation and solubility of associated trace elements and contaminants, thus influencing their fate, transport and cycling. In addition, these reactions may affect microbial community and metabolism.


In this session, we invite contributions that aim to enhance our understanding of the (bio)geochemical mechanisms and kinetics of metal redox cycling in the environment and associated impacts on trace elements, contaminants, and microbial communities, through application of e.g. electrochemical, spectroscopic and biochemical techniques. Elements of interests include major and trace redox-sensitive metals, metalloids, and radionuclides. Both laboratory and field based studies are welcome.




Yuanzhi Tang

School of Earth and Atmosphere Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332



Evert Elzinga

Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University at Newark, Newark, NJ 07102



Geochemistry of Sulfur

Sulfur is a critical component of many systems, and as an element with a detailed redox chemistry, mineralogy, and complexation chemistry, it is a component that continues to see new discoveries.  The stability of redox forms across eight electron changes, polymerization, and complexation with other elements can all be important in deciphering sulfur cycling in systems.  Sulfur minerals, from bulk to nanocrystalline and including molecular cluster precursors, also interact with dissolved forms.  Solid and dissolved forms of sulfur are additionally able to serve as electron donors and/or acceptors to fuel microbial metabolisms. The chemical and especially isotopic record of sulfur also informs us of key changes in earth's chemistry through time.  Topics including aqueous sulfur cycling, geomicrobiological interactions, nanoparticle interactions, and the interaction between sulfur and organics, metals, and other elements such as arsenic in modern and ancient environments, are welcome for this session.

Session Organizers:


Greg Druschel

Department of Earth Sciences

Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN 46202



Alexey Kamyshny

Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Beer Sheva 84105, Israel



Atomistic Computational Geochemistry:  Atomic-level Processes with Macroscopic Implications 

Understanding and predicting the reactivity of geochemical systems presents some unique challenges because of their complexity.  For example, mineral-water interfaces contain multiple species and there are few interfacial probes that are inherently surface sensitive but can operate in situ in aqueous solutions.  Classical and quantum mechanical atomistic simulation techniques are becoming sufficiently advanced that, rather than post-hoc rationalization of experimental data, they can be used as tools to quantitatively predict geochemical reactivity and other processes.  By allowing us to isolate individual reactions or species, these predictions can help us to understand the contributions of those species and interpret experimental observations where multiple processes are occurring simultaneously.  Examples of recent work to apply these new techniques include calculations of proton affinities in condensed phases, crystal growth and dissolution, poly-ionic or molecular cluster formation, isotope fractionation factors, and understanding the effects of pore structure and chemistry on transport and reactivity of dissolved phases.  This session will focus on recent work to model atomic-level geochemical processes using atomistic calculation and simulation methods such as classical and ab initio molecular dynamics, static density functional theory, rare event theories, kinetic (or reverse) Monte Carlo, etc.   

Session Organizers:   

Louise J. Criscenti

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM 87185-0754


Amy E. Hofmann

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories

Berkeley, CA 94720


Sebastien Kerisit

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Richland, WA 99352 


Andrew G. Stack

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6129



Natural hydrocarbon seeps: toward understanding a complex natural system

Naturally occurring hydrocarbon seeps contribute significantly to the hydrocarbon budget of marine sediments.  They are also a large reservoir of methane, tied up as gas hydrate, which have future energy, climate change, and seafloor stability implications.  Some estimates suggest that the energy stored in oceanic gas hydrates exceeds all conventional fossil fuel sources combined.  However, spatial and temporal variability in natural hydrocarbon fluxes and microbial transformation of methane even across relatively small (hundreds of meters) geographic scales complicates quantification of gas hydrate reservoirs and hydrocarbon transport rates.  The fate of those hydrocarbons is of broad interest because of their potential to influence sediment geochemistry, stimulate microbial activity, form gas hydrates (and) or possibly escape to the atmosphere. A more rigorous understanding of factors contributing to seep variability, controls on microbial activity, and gas transport mechanisms will be required to improve estimates of thermogenic hydrocarbon flux.  We invite presentations that 1) investigate the chemical environment at natural seep sites, controls on microbial transformations of methane, or oceanographic and climatic influences on hydrocarbon flux, 2) studies modeling bubble transport or fluid flux mechanisms, 3) present field studies or laboratory experiments based on field observations and/or 4) compare natural hydrocarbon seeps and sediments affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Topics include:

o   Novel methods of methane detection and quantification of methane flux

o   Bubble transport

o   Shallow sediment geochemistry: the“microbial filter”

o   Resource Quantification

o   Transport of hydrocarbons from sediments to the atmosphere


Session Organizers: 

Laura Lapham

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

University of Maryland-CES

P.O. Box 38

Solomons, MD 20688


Rachel Wilson

Dept. Earth Ocean Atmospheric Science

Florida State University

117 N Woodward Ave

Tallahassee FL 32306-4320


Beyond n-alkanes and PAHs:  what have we learned about petroleum geochemistry since Deepwater Horizon?

The discharge of oil and natural gas following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon served as a forbidden experiment about which geochemical, microbiological, oceanographic, and other studies were conducted. But what have we learned from this event and related studies that moves us beyond existing dogma, toward a greater mechanistic understanding of petroleum’s environmental geochemistry?  This session seeks to explore the frontier of environmental geochemistry, with an emphasis on the chemistry and microbiology of petroleum as it relates to Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean.  Topics of interest include:


èGeochemical and microbiological studies from the Deepwater Horizon event,

èNovel insights on petroleum composition, transformation, and weathering,

èMechanisms and rates for abiotic and biotic petroleum transformation,

èPhysical processes fractionating petroleum,

èMicrobiology of oil and natural gas,

èGeochemistry of oil and gas seepage,

èSubsurface processes impacting petroleum,

èNovel isotopic methods applied to petroleum.


Session Organizers:


David L. Valentine                       

Department of Earth Science                 

University of California

Santa Barbara, CA 93106



Christopher M.Reddy

Department ofMarine Chemistry and Geochemistry

Woods HoleOceanographic Institution

Woods Hole, MA



2013 Geochemistry Division Medal Symposium

Every two years the Geochemistry Division recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding contributions to geochemistry.

The 2013 Geochemistry Division Medal will be awarded to Dr. George W. Luther III, Professor of Oceanography, University of Delaware, for his wide-ranging fundamental contributions to aqueous geochemistry.  These contributions include application of physical inorganic chemistry to understanding electron transfer in natural waters; development of chemical sensors and the application of voltametry to quantifying trace element speciation in natural waters; and elucidation of chemical and microbial processes in metal and sulfur cycling. After presentation of the medal, Dr. Luther’s contributions will be celebrated with a series of invited lectures highlighting critical issues in aqueous biogeochemistry.


Invited Speakers Only.


Symposium Organizer:


Douglas B. Kent

U.S.Geological Survey, Menlo Park CA 94025



Biogeochemical Transformation of Transition Elements in Aquatic Systems: A Symposium in Honor of George Luther’s Accomplishments in Geochemistry

Transition elements are well known for their multiple oxidation states, and a number of these elements are stable under several oxidation states in the redox window of most aquatic systems. As a result of their redox transformations, transition elements may either change phase or stability, ultimately affecting their bioavailability and chemical reactivity. Although the mechanism of redox transformation of a few transition elements has been characterized in detail over the last several decades, including by George Luther and his group, the mechanism regulating the transformation of most transition elements and their effects on biogeochemical and ecological processes remain poorly understood. This session seeks abstracts that address the mechanism of transformation of transition elements and their effects on biogeochemical and ecological processes in aquatic systems, ranging from surface waters to sediments and from freshwater to deep-sea environments. The main objective of this session is to celebrate the accomplishments of George Luther in this field, and topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the use of new in situ techniques to characterize these processes in aquatic systems, the application of theoretical calculations to the investigation of these processes, the characterization of the speciation of transition elements in aquatic systems, or fundamental kinetic or thermodynamic studies that address the chemical and biological transformation of transition elements in aquatic systems.


Symposium Organizers:


Martial Taillefert

School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA 30332



Kathryn Mullaugh

Department of Chemistry

Elon University

Elon, NC 27244



General Poster Session

The general poster session calls for abstracts that are different from the themes of the above sessions or are from scientists who are interested in presenting their results in a poster format. The posters are eligible to be part of the Science Mix during the meeting.


Symposium Organizer:


Martial Taillefert

School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332.



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