Functional Polymeric Materials & Composites

Functional Polymeric Materials & Composites

27–29 April 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The 11th Annual UNESCO/IUPAC Conference on Functional Polymeric Materials & Composites will focus on the synthesis, characterization, properties, and application of these materials. The conference and accompanying workshop will be held 26–29 April 2011 at the Wallenberg Research Centre at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The conference venue is within walking distance of the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at the university, as well as most of the guest houses and the Stellenbosch city center.

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The conference will be part of the International Year of Chemistry, bringing together leading scientists from various fields of macromolecular science to give lectures and informative plenaries. A preconference workshop will be held especially for students and young scientists.

Stellenbosch is situated about 50 km from Cape Town (which has an international airport) and is in the heart of the Cape Winelands, which feature 106 wineries.

The deadline for abstract and poster submission is 30 November 2010.

See Mark Your Calendar for contact information.

http://academic.sun.ac.za/UNESCO/Conferences/Conference2011

Page last modified 8 September 2010.

Copyright © 2003-2010 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Questions regarding the website, please contact edit.ci@iupac.org

Functional Polymeric Materials & Composites

The Stone that Came in from the Cold

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The first stamp depicting cryolite, a rare mineral whose name is derived from the Greek terms for “cold” and “stone” and is composed mainly of sodium hexafluoroaluminate (Na3AlF6), was issued in Greenland on 19 October 2009. It is a belated but fitting tribute to a mineral that played a fundamental role in the development of the world’s modern aluminum industry. Commercial mining of a huge deposit of cryolite found in the town of Ivittuut near the southwestern tip of Greenland started in the late 1850s and continued for more than a century even though the massive amounts of cryolite needed by the aluminum industry led over time to the invention of several processes for making synthetic cryolite. A whopping 3.7 million tonnes of the snow-white mineral had been extracted from the Ivittuut mine by the time it shut down in 1987!

In any event, cryolite’s claim to fame was attained in 1886, when Charles Martin Hall in the United States and Paul Héroult in France independently (and almost simultaneously) discovered that it could be used as a flux in the industrial production of aluminum. The large-scale electrolysis of purified alumina (Al2O3), which has a melting point of about 2000 °C, was prohibitively expensive until then, but the use of cryolite lowered the melting point of the mixture to about 900 °C and rendered the so-called Hall-Héroult process economically viable. Aluminum was on its way to quickly becoming the most widely used nonferrous metal in the world, with applications ranging from construction and the aerospace industry to the manufacture of cooking utensils and packaging materials.

Written by Daniel Rabinovich <drabinov@uncc.edu>.

Page last modified 8 September 2010.

Copyright © 2003-2010 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Questions regarding the website, please contact edit.ci@iupac.org

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Chemistry International is the newsmagazine of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). News about IUPAC, its chemists, its publications, its recommendations, its conferences and the work of its commissions and committees is published bimonthly in CI.

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