2021 graduate publishes in online journal

Paper explains economic, environmental viability of bioethanol

Amanda Ott

A paper by a 2021 University of Pittsburgh at Bradford graduate will be included in the inaugural issue of the international open source online journal “Current Research in Materials Chemistry.”

Dr. David Soriano, associate professor of chemistry, submitted Amanda Ott’s paper after he read it as a submission in the Introduction to Biofuels class he’s teaching this semester.

“Amanda is an incredible technical writer,” Soriano said of Ott’s ability to simplify complicated material such as that covered in her paper, “Bioethanol: Economic and Environmental Viability.” After editing, Soriano will appear as a co-author on the paper.

Ott’s paper briefly explains the history, pros and cons of bioethanol, which is often referred to as simply ethanol and is most often made from corn in the United States.

Ott explained how, in theory, bioethanol should decrease both dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. However, for bioethanol made from corn, issues such as fossil fuel-based fertilizers used to grow bioethanol crops, fertilizer runoff and the need to truck the product reduce its environmental benefits.

Other countries, she notes, have more viable options, such as switchgrass, beets and potatoes.

“I’m excited that my work will now be able to help others understand the nuances of bio-ethanol and the importance of sustainable practices in all steps of biofuel production,” Ott said.

Ott graduated May 2 from Pitt-Bradford with a Bachelor of Science in energy science and technology and an associate of science in engineering science.

During the fall semester, she led a team of students taking part in the Appalachian Teaching Project with the Appalachian Regional Commission. That group of students outlined a proposed trails project on 275 acres of forested land acquired by Pitt-Bradford last year.

As president of the Environmental Studies Club, she has worked to increase sustainable habits within the Pitt-Bradford student body.

She is from Ellwood City, Pa.

Soriano is a member of the editorial board of the new journal, which is a peer-reviewed journal publishing articles about recent advances and innovative approaches in materials chemistry.