THE LABORATORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

Prof. Ovadia Lev

The laboratory of Environmental Chemistry is engaged in two research pathways:

Understanding man-made and natural water processes
The laboratory investigates the formation of volatile organo-sulfur compounds in natural aquatic systems. This line of research was triggered by consumers' complaints about the taste and odor characteristics of drinking water. We attribute the malodorous emissions from Lake Kinneret during the spring season to volatile organo-sulfur compounds induced by algae bloom. The importance of the volatile organo-sulfur emissions goes far beyond the olfactory attributes of drinking water. These compounds dominate the global sulfur cycle and affect cloud nucleation, ozone hole formation and global warming. Currently, we are studying the formation mechanisms of dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethyldisulfide, dimethyltrisulfide, dimethyltetrasulfide and carbonyl sulfide in Lake Kinneret and in other equatic systems.

The research involves both laboratory and field studies, and relies on state of the art chromatography equipment, including LC/MS and GC/MS.

Development of advanced materials for chemical analysis
The laboratory develops analytical and bioelectrochemical diagnostic tools based on sol-gel technology. Sol-gel is a fast growing technology for the production of glasses and metal oxides from colloidal solutions.

For example, we entrap different organic compounds, biochemicals, nanoparticles or microparticles in sol-gel derived silica glasses, and use the modified glasses for optical and electrochemical diagnostics. The organic-inorganic hybrids provide a way to benefit from the enormous number of biochemical and organic compounds and from the favorable physical and optical properties of inorganic matrices.

This line of research combines inorganic synthesis, material characterization (e.g. N2) adsorption, mercury porosimetry, nano-profilometry) and state of the art electrochemical techniques.



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