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Distinguished Faculty Lecture March 19

March 16, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University chemistry professor Thottumkara K. "TK" Vinod will present, "Green Chemistry: Retooling of Chemistry and Making it More Sustainable," at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication Recital Hall on the WIU-Macomb campus.

Vinod will speak about the practice of green chemistry becoming mainstream in chemical industries, highlight this new field of chemistry conducted in his WIU laboratory in addition to other sustainable chemical topics as Western's 2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.

"Green chemistry has the ultimate goal of carrying out chemical activities, including design and manufacturing of chemical products and disposal of chemical wastes, while leaving minimal adverse impact on our environment. This is a simple view, yet the prevailing global view, of how the field of chemistry should be perceived and practiced," said Vinod.

In his lecture, Vinod will share the basic principles of green chemistry, a relatively new sub-discipline. It was his first eco-friendly green chemistry research in 2000, aimed at teaching his then-eighth-grade son, Arun Thottumkara, "a significant amount of chemistry and laboratory techniques," as well as helping Arun regain his confidence from being overlooked at a regional science fair, that became the basis of Vinod's primary research in his WIU laboratory. His first green chemistry project, "Synthesis of User-Friendly Hypervalent Iodine Reagents and Their Use as Effective Oxidizing Agents," was funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) (2004-2007, $192,000) and resulted in a U. S. patent for Vinod and Arun. His son has since graduated from Harvard and is pursuing his Ph.D. at Stanford.

Vinod's research in green chemistry continues to be funded by national funding agencies and currently has a four-year NSF grant for $210,000 and a three-year $75,000 grant from Petroleum Research Funds administered by the American Chemical Society funding his ongoing research.

Vinod's lecture at the WIU-Quad Cities 60th Street Campus will be at 3 p.m. Monday, April 9 in Room 102.

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