BU Ignition Award Fosters Doerrer Group Research

Innovative research by Prof. Linda Doerrer and her student, Steven Hannigan, will be advanced by BU Ignition Award

Professor Linda Doerrer and fourth year graduate student, Steven Hannigan, were chosen as recipients of a Boston University Ignition Award.   This program provides funds to validate early-stage research projects with clear commercial potential.

The Doerrer group has  determined that a fully fluorinated copper(II) compound can electrocatalytically reduce nitrate in water. Such a technology would be extremely relevant to today’s market for water treatment systems because it addresses an increasingly significant environmental problem.  Nitrate is a common component in all man-made fertilizers and is, therefore, increasingly found in all salt- and fresh-water bodies. The nitrate is a fertilizing food source for microorganisms whose excessive growths are called harmful algal blooms (HABs), which can lead to aqueous “dead zones” in rivers, seas, and lakes that can be seen from satellites.

The Ignition Award Program was launched in 2007 by the Boston University Office of Technology Development.  Since then, it has issued 46 awards, 10 of which have been given to Chemistry faculty to advance their innovative ideas.