A five-year $750,000 grant was awarded to professor Nadine Kabengi and her research team to study metal oxides, according to a May 29 university release.
The money was given as an Early Career Research Program award by the Department of Energy’s office of Science.
Kabengi and her team will use a flow absorption microcalorimeter (investigation of adsorption) to measure if certain oxides can be used to clean soil and water, according to the release. They will also research the attachment of environmental contaminants to metal oxides.
“There is a wide range of contaminants. Some are dangerous at very low level such as Chromium, Arsenic and Lead,” she said. “…Others, which are not usually dangerous, become toxic if they accumulate to unwanted high levels such as phosphate, sulfate, zinc or nickel.”
Kabengi also said clean soil is important to grow food and get clean water because most of the water is filtered through it.
“Soils and geologic material also play a role in developing future energy strategies,” she said. “For example in carbon sequestration and disposal of nuclear wastes.”
Kabengi is currently an associate professor teaching within the geoscience and chemistry departments at Georgia State.
“I am hoping to expand the research into other departments,” she said in the release. “I hope this can be a launching pad to get more people excited about adsorption calorimetry and its many applications.”
Two additional graduate students and many undergraduates may join the group during the five-year research period, according to the release.
“Her research group will be joined this July by S. Adrian Gale, a postdoctoral fellow and recent graduate of the University of Florida’s environmental engineering sciences program, and this fall by a recent Georgia State geology graduate Tyler Hawkins,” the release states.