UI researcher helps map nitrogen footprint


Light particles interact with ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, to form the potent greenhouse gas. Credit: USDA

A large contribution to the study of greenhouse gases

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, accounts for about six percent of human-induced climate change, but researchers don’t know where 30 percent its global emissions come from.

Now, a CGRER study, led by UI chemistry professor Vicki Grassian, sheds more light on that question.    Continue reading

With National Science Foundation grant, UI researcher will study metals in soil


How do metals like arsenic or mercury behave in our soil?

Michelle Scherer, a UI professor of civil and environmental engineering, just netted a three-year $579,729  grant from the National Science Foundation that will help us find out.

Michelle Scherer

Vicki Grassian, a UI professor of chemistry, will co-investigate the project.

Metals like arsenic and mercury are known to “stick” to the mineral surfaces in soils, but work by Scherer and her graduate students reveals something new –  the metals may also react with the interiors of mineral particles in the soil.

The grant will fund research on how these new processes will affect movement of these metals in the environment. Continue reading