Chemistry Research at YSU Gets NSF Grant

WASHINGTON – The National Science Foundation has awarded $293,943 to Youngstown State University for a chemistry research project, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan announced Monday.

The award will fund a project entitled “RUI: Mechanistic Elucidation of the Formation of Secondary Building Units in Metal Organic Frameworks via Tandem Spectroscopic and Synthetic Approaches,” according to a Ryan’s office. Dr. Douglas Genna, assistant chemistry professor at YSU, is principal investigator of the project.

“This award for Youngstown State will help the university meet the demands of its research and further advance innovation and discovery in chemistry,” Ryan said. “Investments in metal-organic frameworks will contribute to overcoming barriers to large scale industrial implementation.”

The research activities focus on understanding the mechanism of formation of the inorganic secondary building units in metal-organic framework – or MOF — architectures, according to an abstract outlining the grant. Metal-organic frameworks continue to gain interest from the materials research community for their potential in industrial applications such as catalysis, purification and molecular storage, Genna said.

“MOFs have shown promise in applications such as carbon dioxide capture and water purification. However, large-scale synthesis/production has been a barrier for commercialization,” he explained. “The benefits for unraveling the mechanism of formation for these materials includes enhanced rational design of new MOFs, improved techniques for large-scale syntheses, and increased industrial and commercial relevance.”

The project also will provide opportunities for YSU students to conduct research, explore the frontiers of chemistry and engage with the community, he added.

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