The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences's Dr Ulrike Kappler is investigating a way to replace expensive chemical controls with bacteria in the fight against sulfur compund pollution in the air.
Volatile sulfur compounds, which are both malodorous and toxic, are a problem in industrial and communal wastewaters and particularly where sewage is pumped or transferred between different sewer mains, resulting in significant air pollution that limits people's use of adjacent areas such as housing or community parks.
Her research project will determine the potential to remove these sulfur compounds from contaminated air using a recently-discovered group of alkaliphilic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria which thrive in high-alkaline environments that help to absorb the sulfur compounds for efficient treatment.
The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation announced in April 2010 that it would award Dr Kappler with a grant to support the project.
"This grant will boost our work on alkaliphilic sulfur-oxidising bacteria" said Dr Kappler.
"We're very excited about this opportunity to explore their use for the remediation of sulfur polution".
The Lindbergh Foundation was created in 1977, the 50th Anniversary year of Charles Lindbergh's epic New York-to-Paris flight.