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Support for Phosporus Recovery

July 11, 2018

The efforts of Professor of Chemistry Louis Kuo have resulted in the receipt of another National Science Foundation grant to support meaningful research involving Lewis & Clark undergraduates. This new $249K award will support Dr. Kuo’s proposed project, “Fundamental Investigation towards Phosphorus Recovery through Organophosphate Pesticide Degradation by Molybdate Complexes.” Funded by NSF’s Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS) and Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) programs, this project will address environmental toxin remediation and phosphorus recovery. More specifically, Dr. Kuo and his team of undergraduate researchers will investigate how fundamental chemistry can help modify harmful chemicals used in the environment, specifically phosphate toxins. Phosphate toxins are used in agricultural pesticides and herbicides and are found throughout the environment. Moreover, they can be damaging to animals and humans, and have even been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. This project will look for ways to make these chemicals safer and recycle the phosphate toxins for a new use. This research lies at the interface of inorganic and organic chemistry, and uses a combination of experimental and computational techniques. In addition to involving at least six undergraduate researchers and two high school students, this project will engage a local high school science teacher who is an L&C alumna for two summers.

This represents Dr. Kuo’s sixth award from the National Science Foundation; his work is also currently supported by a 2017 grant from the ACS.  More information about Dr. Kuo’s research is available here.  

July 2018

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