Wyoming researchers receive award for new pollution test

Chemists John F. Schabron, Ph.D., and Susan S. Sorini of the Western Research Institute in Laramie, Wyo., were honored June 15 by the worlds largest scientific society for developing a new test to find fuel contamination in soil. They received one of two 2001 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Societys Northwest regional meeting in Seattle.

Schabron and Sorini have developed a portable test kit that can detect the presence of heavy fuels such as diesel in soil. Heavy fuels contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals often found in crude oil and coal. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, PAHs can cause cancer and birth defects.

The Diesel Dog Soil Test Kit is ideal for use by petroleum firms, gas and electric utilities, emergency response teams, environmental agencies and others who need to find fuel contamination quickly and conveniently. The test can be conducted on-site, takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is suitable for a variety of fuels, soils and weather conditions. The new test is also environmentally friendly: In the past, soil test kits used the ozone-depleting chemical Freon to extract soil samples, but the new kit uses isopropyl alcohol and lime. The kits became available commercially in 2000.

The American Chemical Societys Industrial Innovation Awards recognize individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance our quality of life.


Contact: Tiffany Steele
American Chemical Society

Page: 1

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