The fate and transport of many environmentally relevant chemical species are dependent on their reactions with mineral surfaces. Of particular interest are redox chemical reactions that occur with iron-bearing minerals. Our research group investigates the interactions of halogenated compounds, a common class of groundwater contaminants, with iron-bearing clay minerals, a significant constituent of sediments and soils.
Our approach is to construct model systems in the laboratory that allow us to eliminate some of the multitude of variables that exist when these reactions occur in the environment. Using several different analytical techniques, we examine the rates of mechanisms of reactions between halogenated compounds and clay mineral surfaces. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is used to monitor the degradation of pesticides, while spectroscopic techniques, including diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), are used to probe the physical and electronic structure of the mineral before, during, and after reaction.
Associate Professor of Chemistry; Director, Environmental Studies Program
211 Rooke Chemistry Bldg
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