Paine Biology Students Conduct Bioremediation Research

Posted by ncarter | 08/28/2012 07:52 AM

(Augusta, GA) – Paine College undergraduate students are conducting important bioremediation research needed by the Department Of Energy to safely clean up the environmental legacy left behind by decades of nuclear weapons development.

Research objectives focus on the reduction of Chromium VI from water and soil samples through the use of algae and bacteria. This project also teaches student researchers best practices in research protocol and allows them the opportunity to work with cutting edge scientific instrumentation. Just a few of the scientific endeavors being pursued by biology students at Paine College under this program include, conducting research on Bacterial Transport Through Unconsolidated Packed Columns, developing a Logistic Equation Using Microbiological Parameters, and the execution of several experiments on the Bioremediation of Hexavalent Chromium from sand and soil.

The research is funded by a grant from the Department of Energy- Office of Environmental Management. The student research assistants Shanquette Chance, Brittney Fonntenot and Priyanka Yarlagadda are working with multidisciplinary faculty mentors: Dr. C. R. Nair, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Physics & Environmental Sciences, Dr. B. Mohanty, Associate Professor of Biology and Dr. C. P. Abubucker, Associate Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science.  The student researchers have presented research at seven national and regional conferences during the 2011-2012 school year.

The Department of Mathematics, Sciences & Technology has acquired the state of the art research equipment through the grant. This equipment includes Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer (ICPOES- ARCOS), Shimadzu UV VIS Spectrophotometer, Spectrofluorimeter, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry system, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography systems.

"These high- tech instrumentations have significantly strengthened the research infrastructure of Paine College and will attract students and faculty to Paine from all over the world," Nair said.

STEM faculty and students are excited about this development. More than 40 students have been trained via SPECTRO Campus e-learning system along with ICP demonstration and certified in OES fundamentals. Six students received training Smart Analyzer Vision software application.

Currently the research instruments are housed in teaching laboratories and will eventually be housed in the new upcoming Core STEM Research facility. The facility will serve as a focal point to build a Center of Excellence for Environmental Research at Paine College. 

For information contact the Office of Communications at (706) 396-7591, (706) 821-8233 or Ncarter@paine.edu

Photo caption:Dr. C. R. Nair and student working together to set-up the GC/MS system for trace Organics.

To view more research photos, visit the link : https://picasaweb.google.com/painecollege/PaineCollegeBioremediationResearch