Chemistry Students Win Prize at Harry Allen Symposium

March 26, 2013
By: WSU News

Worcester State University chemistry major Huong Doan ’14 and Alexandra Kostoras, a student at the College of the Holy Cross presently doing research with WSU Chemistry Department, presented posters at Clark University as part of the 24th Harry C. Allen Symposium.

Doan presented a poster titled “Photochemical Degradation of Ionic Liquids” based on work conducted during the summer as part of an undergraduate research grant administered through the Center for Teaching and Learning. Kostoras and Doan co-presented another poster titled “Towards Greener Remediation of Hexavalent Chromium using Cellulose Films.”

Work at WSU has shown that chromium can be removed using a renewable resource, cellulose from salty environments very efficiently. Hexavalent chromium was the carcinogen featured in the movie “Erin Brockovich,” while another form, Cr (III), is an essential nutrient. The technique developed is selective for Cr (VI). This technology can be applied to environmental remediation of not only chromium, but other heavy metals as well. All the research was done at WSU under the direction of Assistant Professor of Chemistry Meghna Dilip.

The students won one of three prizes at the poster session for their work. The prize included a cash award of $250 each, chemistry t-shirts and certificates.

Also presenting their work at the event were students from Clark, WPI, Wellesley College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Providence College.

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