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Environmental Chemistry

Research groups at UT have launched important initiatives in the application of chemistry to problems facing the environment. Indeed, one of the most important challenges facing all scientists today is restoring the health of the environment by removing toxic substances while preventing the further introduction of pollutants.

Current projects that focus on environmental chemistry include: developing sol-gel materials as metal ion complexants; developing ionic liquids and supercritical carbon dioxide as green solvents for reactions, thus eliminating the need for volatile organic solvents; performing computational studies of reactions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere; measuring atmospheric gas composition using IR absorption spectroscopy of solar radiation; understanding the photochemistry of polycyclic aromatic compounds in water; using process mass spectrometry for continuous real-time analysis to optimize the efficiency and minimize the environmental impact of industrial processes; developing new methods for the analysis of biological markers of exposure to toxins; and developing remote sensors to detect natural and man made toxins and to monitor the remediation of contaminated areas.