ACS Grant Funds Alternative Energy Research
Nancy Dopke has her summer plans set through 2011, thanks to a
$61,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research
The ACS fund gives research grants to projects related to the petroleum industry and alternative forms of energy.
Dopke, an assistant professor of chemistry at Alma College, looks at how changes in the structure of compounds containing multiple metal atoms affect the oxidation of alcohols. This reaction provides the energy in direct methanol fuel cells, which are being considered as a possible power source for portable uses, such as in a laptop computer.
Now the most commonly used fuel cell, used by NASA, utilizes hydrogen and oxygen gases as the fuels.
Nancy Dopke and her husband Joel teach chemistry and conduct research at Alma College.
The formal title of her research is “Synthesis, Characterization, and
Reactivity of Platinum/Ruthenium Heterometallic Complexes.”
The grant begins in September, but Dopke is already in the lab with student assistant Mara Laurain ’10 working on the research. The grant will fund some equipment, chemicals and student and faculty salaries for the next three summers.
Alma College is also matching a part of the grant to purchase capital equipment, including a solvent purification system. Dopke says this system will be used beyond the scope of the grant and will benefit multiple research groups and lab courses.
Dopke is working toward publishing the results in an academic journal and plans to have her students present their research findings at national meetings of the American Chemical Society.
Posted: Fri, July 25th, 2008 at 4:46PM