Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Daniela R. Radu - Delaware State University
Co-Author(s): Dominique Powell, Nicholas Pizzi, Lourdjina Cherenfant and Cheng-Yu Lai, Department of Chemistry, Delaware State University
The Targeted Infusion Project in the Department of Chemistry at Delaware State University centers on infusing sustainability in the undergraduate curriculum and integrating sustainability concepts in chemistry-related research projects. Three undergraduate research sub-projects affiliated with ongoing research projects in materials sustainability have been successfully completed to date: A. Application of sustainable materials concepts in solar research; B. Standardized testing methodologies for waste water; and C. Nanoparticles toxicity. The outcome of the research will be presented. Highlights of Sub-Project A. The sustainability approach is reflected at every step of the project, staring from: 1. Materials selection, in the group of abundant, non-toxic reagents and supplies; 2. Establishment of environment-friendly synthetic methodologies; and, ultimately; and 3. Characterization of the products to certify that their properties meet the demand for reduced or negligible environmental footprint. The materials used in this project are copper-based chalcogenides, formed of Earth abundant metals and sulfur, another ubiquitous element. The metal salts utilized meet the criteria of low toxicity. A process flow is used to determine opportunities to cut on solvent usage and reduce waste. The products are evaluated in tissue culture toxicity testing. All three aspects will be exemplified in the presentation.
Highlights of Sub-Project B. Wastewater analysis is standard-ized by national and international environmental organizations. In the US, Mid-Atlantic US EPA uses the NELAC standard. The project encompasses evaluation of DSU chemistry capability to conduct wastewater analyses. The project enabled the under-graduate researcher to conceptualize the need of waste water analysis from the sustainability perspective and conduct a de-tailed evaluation of the components, including instrumentation, analytical methods, standards, and outcomes. The details of the sub-project will be presented. Highlights of Sub-Project C. Pro-vided the large applicability of nanoparticles in consumer prod-ucts, great societal concerns have been raised. The rapid emer-gency of nano-based products requires a systematic evaluation of nanoparticles toxicity. In this line, commercially available as well as in-house made ZnO and TiO2 nanoparticles have been subjected to toxicity testing in mammalian cells. The results of this research will be presented.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation, Award #1435716
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,