This Major Research Instrumentation grant supports acquisition of an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) for elemental analysis. The ICP-OES will support faculty and student research that will benefit from rapid, high precision and low detection limit analysis of alkaline earth, transition metals and halogen elements in water, soil, minerals, rocks, and plant tissues. Applications to studies of the biogeochemistry and weathering processes in soils, stream water chemistry and the impacts of road salt in watersheds, beach sediment composition and provenance, the catalytic behavior of transition metal oxides, and phytoremediation of heavy metal impacted soils will be facilitated. The ICP-OES will support student research training at this non-Ph.D. granting institution and the PIs plan outreach activities with local community colleges.


Project Report

The goal of this grant was to acquire a simultaneous inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICO-OES) for elemental analysis to support our multidisciplinary research and education programs at Rider University. After the grant was awarded in August 2011, we purchased a new SPECTRO ARCOS EOP ICP in September 2011 and completed installation in January 2012. By February of 2012, the new ICP was up and running. We had a three-day in-house training workshop for our principle investigators held by a SPECTRO engineer in January 2012 on the basics of the new ICP operation and maintenance. Since then the instrument has been fully functioning and used in our research and teaching. With its support, we were able to have one research article finished and published in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology (Na/Cl molar ratio changes during a salting cycle and its application to the estimation of sodium retention in salted watersheds). We were also be able to have three abstracts presented in national conferences. In addition, we had 52 undergraduate students trained on using the instrument and two undergraduate senior theses/one independent research project finished since January this year. Underneath is research/educational activities resulted directly from the support of this NSF grant. (Bold letters indicates undergraduate student authors): Article Sun, H., L. Sinpatanasakul, J.M. Husch, M. Huffine, 2012. Na/Cl molar ratio changes during a salting cycle and its application to the estimation of sodium retention in salted watersheds. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology.136-137, p. 96-105. Abstracts and Presentations Sun, H., Chakowski, N, Mazza, N., Gove, B., Pezzi, E. and Husch, J., 2012. The possibility of road salt-induced release of heavy metals from soil in a watershed. Abstract accepted for 2012 GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte. Paper No. 157-18. J. Hodges and F. Chen, "Studies of phase formation of ilmenite Zn1-x M xTiO3 (M= Co and Mg , 0 < x < 1) from the sonochemical method" The 243th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, California, March 25-29, 2012. F. Chen*, "Effect of precursors on sonochemical synthesis of nanosized zinc titanate particles" The 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting , Philadelphia, PA, August 19-23, 2012. Invited Presentation Undergraduate Student Senior Theses (Spring 2012). Nicole Chakowski’s senior thesis: Geochemical and Environmental Cycling of the Major Cations and Nutrients in the Centennial Lake Watershed. ICP was used to analyze the concentrations of multi-elements in her water samples. Currently, Nicole is a lab technician in BASF, an Environmental company. Nicholas Mazza’s senior thesis: Hydrogeological and Geochemical Characteristics of the Duck Island Landfill in Trenton, New Jersey. This is the landfill project that was described in the above research section. Nick was able to use the ICP to analyze all the metal elements and some nonmetal elements of the water samples collected from monitoring wells at the landfill site. Nick is currently employed as an environmental scientist at Bluestone Environmental, NJ.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
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Russell C. Kelz
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Rider University
United States
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