Fall 2009 Courses
- Experimental Chemistry V
- Chemistry Seminar
Research in Solar Energy and Alternative Fuel
My research theme is materials for alternative energies. The material that we are investigating now is nanocrystalline cuprous oxide (Cu2O). By illuminating nanocrystalline Cu2O in water with sunlight, the photon energy can be absorbed by the nanocrystalline Cu2O and can be converted to electricity. Our ultimate goal with nanocrystalline Cu2O is to generate hydrogen gas by splitting water (i.e., the production of an environmentally friendly energy source in an environmentally sensible manner).
Initiated by Jonathan Hershenson (Chemistry '08) in the fall semester of 2006, we have converted frying oil used in the Ithaca College dining hall into biodiesel and have been analyzing the quality of our biodiesel to become accredited as a certified biodiesel producer. For the accreditation we must prove our biodiesel to be constantly up to the standard set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Producing biodiesel from used frying oil is environmentally sensible because (1) fuel is produced from waste (unlike ethanol from corn) and (2) the waste no longer goes to the landfill.
Akiko Fillinger received her B.S. in Chemistry in 1995 from Portland State University where she became interested in chemical solar-to-electricity conversion under the guidance of Professor Carl Wamser. She went on to perform her graduate work at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 2000. For her graduate thesis, she studied dye sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 solar cells with Professor Bruce Parkinson.
In 2001 she became a Dreyfus Post-doctoral Fellow in Environmental Chemistry at the Division of Applied Sciences and Engineering at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Professors Steven Wofsy and Scot Martin). After the post-doc experience, she taught for a year at Grinnell College at Grinnell, Iowa as a visiting assistant professor. She began teaching at Ithaca College in the fall of 2003, and has since taught Physical Chemistry I, Instrumental Analysis, Quantitative Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Experimental Chemistry I and V. She maintains an active research group investigating materials for harvesting solar energy as well as working toward biodiesel accreditation by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
(Bold: Ithaca College Undergraduate Students)
Kelly L. Sowers and Akiko Fillinger, “Crystal Face Dependence of p-Cu2O Stability as Photocathode,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 156, F80-F85 (2009).
Clifford J. Engel, Thomas A. Polson, Jacy R. Spado, Jennifer M. Bell, and Akiko Fillinger, “Photoelectrochemistry of Porous p-Cu2O Films,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 155, F37-F42 (2008).
Krista Fieselmann (Biochemistry '10) presented a poster titled, "Reduction of Pb and Cd Intake by Carrots via Ca, Zn, and Mn?" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at Washington D.C. in August 2009.
Cliff Engel (Chemistry '10) performed oral presentation on "Face Dependence of Cu2O Stability" at National Conference of Undergraduate Research in La Crosse, WI in April 2009.
Nita Norasatheporn (Master of Teaching Chemistry '09) and Joshua Thomas (Chemistry '10) presented a poster titled, "Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit (SHArK)" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at Salt Lake City, Utah in March 2009.
Kelly L. Sowers (Chemistry '09) presented a poster titled, "Crystal Face Dependence of Cu2O Reactivity" at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at Salt Lake City, Utah in March 2009.
Miles Crettien (Environmental Science with Anthropology concentration '09) and Layne Kasprzyk (Environmental Science with Chemistry concentration '10) performed oral presentation on "Current Status of Biodiesel Accreditation Project at Ithaca College" at the Whalen Research Symposium in March 2009.
Julian Halfmann (Environmental Science with Biology concentration '08) performed an oral presentation, "Reduction of Carrots' Heavy Metal (Lead and Cadmium) Intake by Calcium, Zinc, and Manganese?" at the Whalen Academic Symposium at Ithaca College in April 2008.
Jonathan Hershenson (Chemistry ’09) presented a poster, “Toward the Accreditation as a Certified Biodiesel Producer” at the American Chemical Society National Meeting at New Orleans, Louisiana in April 2008.