Trio Presents Research at Symposium

Chemistry study looks at mercury in voltammetry.  


Aneliese Apala ’11, Sara Goldstein ’11, Alexander Raubach ’10 presented, “Replacement of the Dropping Mercury Electrode in Voltammetry” at Randolph College’s Symposium for Artists & Scholars on April 17, 2009.

The trio conducted the research project with their faculty mentor, Bill Mattson, professor of chemistry, while undergraduate students at Randolph College.

An abstract of research project follows...

A Dropping Mercury Electrode (DME) is used in polarography to provide a renewable and somewhat inert electrode surface. As a mercury drop is contaminated by the reduction of a metal ion, it is replaced by a new, clean drop. The use of mercury is problematic; it is not only expensive to purchase and to dispose of, but it is also an environmental hazard. In polarography, the DME leads to an erratic and cyclic electrical current caused by the drops growing and falling off. This leads to less than optimal precision and accuracy. To reduce all of these problems, the DME is replaced with a Moving Inert Cylindrical Electrode (MICE) made of somewhat inert material, such as platinum or graphite. While in use, a small section of the MICE is exposed to the cell. The cylinder is pushed through the cell, renewing the surface while maintaining a consistent surface area.

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars provides Randolph College students from all classes and disciplines the opportunity to present the results of their research, scholarship, and creative work to the entire College community and beyond.

The two-day symposium, modeled after a typical academic conference, features oral presentations of student research, readings of creative work, musical performances, and exhibitions of student artwork. The symposium also includes a poster session, reception and a keynote address from a noteworthy academic speaker.

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