Professor Kevin Johnson Receives Petroleum Research Fund Grant

Kevin Johnson, chemistry professor and director of the School of Natural Sciences within Pacific University's College of Arts & Sciences, has been awarded an American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund grant in the amount of $65,000.

The grant will support his research project, Between Oil and Water: Computational Modeling of Molecular Structure and Interactions at Surfactant Modified Hydrophobic Interfaces. Funding will cover research to be conducted between Jan. 1, 2014, through Aug. 31, 2017. Over the course of four summers, the grant will support six undergraduate researchers on the project. The grant will also fund the acquisition of a new 12-core computer workstation for student use on the project.

The proposed work uses computational modeling to explore how surfactant molecules modulate both molecular and macroscopic properties at the interface between immiscible organic liquids and water. The fundamental understanding obtained by this research may help to design better materials for environmental remediation of oil spills.

The American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels. Grants are intended as seed money, to enable an investigator to initiate a new research direction.

Oct. 28, 2013