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Vol. 29 No. 2
March-April 2007

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Chemical Thermodynamics

by J.H. Dymond and M. Frenkel

The 19th International Conference on Chemical Thermodynamics, ICCT, was held 30 July to 4 August 2006 at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA. The conference was part of THERMO International 2006, which also included the 16th Symposium on Thermophysical Properties and the 61st Calorimetry Conference.

W.M. Haynes was president of the Executive Board of THERMO. M. Frenkel, R.D. Chirico, and J.W. Magee were the organizers of the ICCT. The entire combined event featured 768 speakers from 62 countries (235 from North America, 341 from Europe, 76 from Japan, and 33 from China). About 65 percent of the participants were from academia, 15 percent from industry, and 20 percent from governmental and international organizations.

ICCT organizer Michael Frenkel (left), J.M.H. (Anneke) Levelt-Sengers, Earl Woolley, Rossini Lecturer Alexandra Navrotsky, and Thermophysical Properties Symposium organizer Dan Friend.

These individual conferences have an overlap of areas of interest, but this was the first time that they have been held jointly at the same site. This provided a unique opportunity for researchers and practitioners worldwide to meet and discuss a broad range of scientific problems in the fields of thermodynamics and thermophysical properties for a wide variety of systems, with applications in chemistry and other scientific and engineering disciplines.

After the conference’s opening ceremony, W.A. Wakeham (University of Southampton, UK), gave the keynote address on “Thermophysical Property Measurements: The Journey from Accuracy to Fitness for Purpose.”

Award lectures were given by Alexandra Navrotsky (the Rossini Award Lecture) on “Calorimetry of Nanoparticles, Surfaces, Interfaces, Thin Films, and Multilayers;” E.M. Woolley (the Hugh M. Huffman Memorial Award Lecture) on “A New Tool for An Old Job: Using Fixed Cell Scanning Calorimetry to Investigate Dilute Aqueous Solutions;” Carl Wieman (Fourth Touloukian Memorial Lecture) on “A Scientific Approach to Teaching Science;” S. Vyazovkin (James J. Christensen Award) on “Model-Free Kinetic Analysis: Getting the Most from Your DSC Data;” and by S. Gaisford (The Stig Sunner Memorial Award) on “All Change Please: The Direct Measurement of Change in Complex Systems.” Johanna Levelt Sengers received the 2006 Yeram S. Touloukian Award.

The ICCT program consisted of nine symposia, some of which were held jointly with the other conferences. Listed below are the plenary lecturers for each symposium.

  • Electrolyte and Non-Electrolyte Solution Thermodynamics: J.M. Prausnitz, “Some Promising Frontiers in the Thermodynamics of Protein Solutions”
  • Ionic Liquids: Kenneth Seddon (Plenary), “The Mark of an Educated Mind”
  • Molecular Modelling, Including Simulation: Denis Evans (Plenary), “The Fluctuation and Non-Equilibrium Free Energy Theorems—Theory and Experiment”
  • Thermochemistry and Molecular Energetics: José Artur de Sousa Martinho Simões, “Energetics of Free Radicals: Bridges between Gas-Phase and Solution Data”
  • Thermodynamics and Properties in the Biological, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Agricultural, and Food Sectors: P.L. Privalov, “Thermodynamic Problems in Structural Molecular Biology”
  • Databases, Data Systems, Software Applications, and Correlations: Marco Satyro, “Life, Data, and Everything”
  • Phase Equilibrium, Supercritical Fluids, and Separation Technologies: Stanley Sandler, “Computational Quantum Mechanics: An Under-Utilized Tool for Applied Thermodynamics”
  • Colloid and Interface Science: Lennart Piculell, “Controlling Structure in Associating Polymer-Surfactant Mixtures”
  • New Materials: V.K. Pecharsky, “ Structure, Mechanism, and Thermodynamics of Novel Rare-Earth-Based Inter-Metallic Materials”

The Rossini lecture and the plenary lectures will be published in Pure and Applied Chemistry.

The ICCT also offered four workshops: New Experimental Techniques, with C. Schick and J.P.M. Trusler as invited speakers; Properties and Processes for a Hydrogen-Based Economy, with C.J. Peters as the invited speaker; Thermodynamic Frontiers and Education, with R.N. Lichtenthaler and R. Battino as invited speakers; and Thermodynamic Properties of Hydration, with V. Majer as invited speaker. In addition, there were software demonstrations and two afternoon poster sessions with over 400 posters.

IUPAC Poster prizes were awarded to Martinez-Herrera Melchor (Mexico), Lisa Ott (USA), and Isabel Marrucho (Spain). Doctorate Awards were presented by the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics (IACT), with sponsorship from Elsevier. The four recipients were M. Fulem (Czech Republic); Y.U. Paulechka (Belarus); Elena Asabina (Russian Federation); and Jing Xu (Norway).

All the lectures demonstrated how chemical thermodynamics is making, and will continue to make, very significant contributions to rapidly developing interdisciplinary fields such as the life sciences, new materials, medicine and pharmacy, new energy resources, the environment, separation technologies, agriculture, and green chemistry. These are all extremely important issues for scientists worldwide, and particularly for those who are in developing or economically disadvantaged countries. The opportunity for face-to-face discussion and communication with scientists from developed countries was a great benefit, which will lead to further research and improved education.

Thermodynamics will continue to be an important area of research for many years to come, with a wide range of applications from chemical engineering to the biosciences. We look forward to the presentation and discussion of the results of further advances in chemical thermodynamics at the next ICCT, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland, in 2008.

John H. Dymond <dunmorecot@tiscali.co.uk> is secretary of the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics. He is a research fellow at the University of Glasgow, UK. Michael Frenkel <frenkel@boulder.nist.gov> is group leader of the TRC Group in the Physical and Chemical Properties Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.


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