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Crystal Kinetics Laboratory
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Justin Cave (2014 WKU new graduate student #WKUGRF  ) working with Dr. Celestian wins a Graduate Research Fellowship!  Congratulations Justin!

The main goal of his project is to develop and characterize new materials at WKU for advanced oil separation/refinement, which will ultimately lead to better usage of Kentucky’s natural energy resources.

Nanoporous materials have a long and important history in petroleum sciences, and shockingly, much of the material used in crude oil refinement has not changed appreciably (incremental advancements aside) in the last 40 years. The increasing costs of producing refinement materials and the processing of non-conventional resources (natural tar and other high viscosity petroleum) choke the refinement process, which leads to inefficiency, decreased recovery, and increased expenses by volume.

Much of Kentucky’s non-conventional crude is locked in near-surface tar sandstones. Besides being difficult to separate the tar from the sand, these tar sands are also a significant source of groundwater pollution in Kentucky. Currently these natural deposits have been treated as environmental contaminants. There is good reason for this – much of the oil reservoir contains toxic aromatic compounds and heavy metals (such as vanadium and nickel, both have long lists of adverse health effects), and these toxins are easily leached by ground water flow.

The M.S. research of Mr. Cave will therefore have two linked parts. The first will be to develop an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient material to transform Kentucky’s heavy crude into a more unusable and valuable commodity. The second will be to apply these same, or related, materials to environmental remediation of regions where tar sands are present.
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Looks like the neutron scattering session that Dr. Celestian is co-chairing at the Goldschmidt Conference is going to be well attended.  Hope to see everyone there!

22f: From the Surface to the Core: Microstructure, Porosity, and Wetting Phenomena in Multiphase Solid/Liquid Systems
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An explanation to the growth of snowflakes.  Are they single crystals or polycrystals?  A recent discussion on the Bruker AXS list-serv posed it.

 What do you say?  Who has done some work in this area?  Has anyone been able to collect a diffraction pattern of a single snowflake?  

It's still cold out, and I may give it a go the next time it snows....
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Just found this website from UCAR (university cooperation for atmospheric research).  In summary, some can be single crystals while others can be made up of 200 fused crystals.
http://spark.ucar.edu/shortcontent/snowflakes
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#iycr2014  Tribute to the Braggs by the IUCr journal ACTA A, Foundations of Crystallography.  There are many open access journals about the history of crystallography and the Braggs. Check it out!
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An interesting study on the dissolution of minerals.  It goes to show that the processes controlling the kinetics of dissolution are still not well understood.  :)  Why do kinetic measurements vary so much?  I wonder if bulk kinetic rates should not be measured without knowing the contributions of all rate controlling steps?  In many cases that may be not practical or not possible.

I can imagine that the rates and pathways of dissolution may change depending on if one is studying a single crystal or a rock.  Would be interesting to see a similar simulation of dissolution with many stacked cube crystals to start with.  
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Have them in circles
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Русский нефрит's profile photo
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Michael Powers (WKU alumnus of the CK group) has just been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Congratulations Michael!

Michael is currently working toward his PhD at Oklahoma State University. This is the second year in a row that a CK lab member has been awarded an #NSFGRF .  Shelby Rader was awarded a NSF-GRF in 2013.    

Powers is a doctoral candidate in the Boone Pickens School of Geology at Oklahoma State University, and earned a Geology B.S. in May 2013.  While at WKU, Powers studied ion exchange and synthesis of microporous materials under the supervision of Prof. Aaron Celestian.  As an undergraduate student, Powers conducted research at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory and won an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Fellowship to study at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Powers presented his work at numerous local and international conferences.

Powers join fellow WKU Geology alum Shelby Rader as Graduate Research Fellows.  Rader was awarded the fellowship in 2013 for her doctoral research in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.  Rader first came to WKU as a Gatton Academy student and continued her undergraduate studies in the Honors College.  She graduated from WKU with B.S. degrees in Geology and Chemistry in May 2012. Rader also worked with Prof. Celestian, and the research of Powers, Rader, and Celestian was published in the journal American Mineralogist in July of 2013.
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Special Issue of SCIENCE highlights importance of crystallography.  Very cool, but mostly geared toward protein crystallography  :(
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The CKLab is the one stop shop for all International Year of Crystallography News!  Here is a starter from the Oxford Museum of the History of Science.
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Have them in circles
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Русский нефрит's profile photo
melinda Rucks's profile photo
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ATTN: CK Lab Western Kentucky Univeristy Geography and Geology 1906 College Heights Blvd Bowling Green, KY 42101
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Mineralogy - Geochemistry - Dynamics
Introduction
@ WKU The primary goal of the group's research is to quantify the mobility and behavior of molecular species in, on, and around natural and engineered crystalline materials as they pertain to the problems and issues in society.