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How My Academic Major Relates to Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Eduardo Bravo

I am an applied chemistry major at New York City College of Technology. In this field of study, multiple applications are used to solve the problems of the world, from synthesizing new chemicals, to using medicine, or creating energy. One of those applications is analyzing the pH levels in rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water.  By finding the pH level of a certain location, we can identify the materials that are contaminating the water  and figure out a way to stabilize the pH level, so it does not affect the  aquatic ecosystems.  At NYCCT, I am working on a project which uses Polyoxometalates and Porphyrin compounds to reduce metals in polluted water. Many nuclear plants pollute the water when they release toxic materials into the ocean or rivers, exposing the aquatic life to hazardous metals.  Our goal, as chemists, is to analyze the contaminated water to determine how to reduce the toxic metals and collect solid particles found in the sample. When adding a solution of polyoxometalates and porphyrin compound to water, we can observe metal nanoparticles in the sample. This will indicate whether or not the metal nanoparticles are present in the water so it can be removed Green chemistry is the branch of chemistry that has to do with climate change. Scientists are trying to create biodegradable material that people can use in order to decrease the pollution on earth. Chemists are highly involved in climate research because of their knowledge on the chemical elements from the periodic table. Many of the chemists are creating new ways to reduce CO2 and O3, which are the gases that are increasing the effect of global warming and create deadly diseases for humans. Other chemists are trying to find a way to reduce radioactive material, so certain locations do not end up like the radioactive Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

 

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Chemistry is a large branch of science that can be applied to anything, but the most important part of the discipline is it can be used to take care of our mother earth. As a chemist, I would like to work for a company that removes toxic materials from the water. For example, collecting liquid petroleum after a ship has spilled it out into the ocean, or decreasing the effects of radioactive material that affects all living organisms in nature. A promising discovery reported on in a recent story in ScienceDaily is about how physico-chemists at the University of Bonn have discovered a new way to remove the inert greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with the help of laser pulses and then reusing the carbon as a basic material for the chemical industry.

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