Hampton, Va - The U.S. Army has awarded the Hampton University chemistry department a $223,000 grant to install microwave reactors and develop standardized procedures for other chemistry programs to follow.
This grant will allow the HU chemistry department to replace most conventional forms of heating, in the organic chemistry laboratory and in synthetic research, such as bunsen burner, water, oil and sand baths with microwave irradiation.
The grant period runs through May of 2015. The principal investigator is Dr. Godson C. Nwokogu, professor of chemistry and the co-principal investigators are HU chemistry department faculty Drs. Charles Bump, Kesete Ghebreyessus, Edmund Ndip and Michelle Waddell.
The department will then compile an extensive list of standardized microwave reaction procedures that any chemistry program wishing to adopt microwave heating can use to build its own comprehensive list of undergraduate laboratory activities.
“Microwave irradiation, as energy source in the lab, will bring many advantages to the department including shorter reaction times,” said Isai Urasa, chair of the chemistry department. “This will allow students to integrate knowledge enhancing activities such as product characterization within the lab period; researchers will be able to do more and obtain better results within the duration of their projects.
Ursa also said the microwave irradiation will extend the scope of what chemistry undergraduate students can successfully accomplish in lab courses and promises discoveries in research.
“Students will also produce cleaner and higher yield reactions, or ‘green chemistry’ because microwave irradiation will the reduce the amount waste produced in experiments.”