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July 21, 2016

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The emission of nitrogen oxides into the environment is a pressing challenge for the energy industry. Nitrogen oxides play a role in atmospheric reactions that cause ozone formation and produce smog. Hind Al-Abadleh, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has long been interested in using chemistry to tackle important and unresolved environmental problems related to pollutants in the atmosphere.

With support from Imperial Oil Limited’s University Research Awards program, Al-Abadleh is investigating the use of novel materials called metal-organic frameworks, to minimize the production of noxious gases in the refinement of oil. Through integrating leading-edge spectroscopic techniques, quantum chemistry calculations and advanced mathematical modeling, she will examine the properties of these metal-organic frameworks and develop methods to optimize their performance.

“This award will allow me to explore the potential of metal organic frameworks in detail,” said Al-Abadleh. “This work will have a positive impact on reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides from industrial sources.”

Al-Abadleh’s lab has a track record of exploring atmospheric chemistry to understand how aerosols behave in the atmosphere, both when exposed to sunlight and in the dark. Her work in the journal Environmental Science and Technology on “dark reactions” was recently featured in the Canadian Chemical News magazine of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

“Professor Al-Abadleh’s research program is making significant contributions to environmental remediation using nanomaterials,” said Robert Gordon, Laurier’s vice-president: research. “We are thrilled that Imperial Oil Limited has recognized the significance of her work.”

Find out more about Al-Abadleh’s ongoing environmental chemistry research programs.


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