Spring 2015 REEL Chemistry Student Presentations

LuncheonThe chemistry undergraduate REEL student presentations were held on May 11, 2015. The day started off with a luncheon served in the student lounge. The students were able to socialize and relax before a long afternoon of presentations. The students were excited about presenting their research. This was their chance to show off how much they accomplished over the 16 week semester. Each and every one of the presentations was excellent. Congratulations Students on a successful semester in REEL!!

Please scroll down to view the abstracts.

Effect of Hard Water Mineral Content on Lipase Activity

Rachael Gollub and Nicholas Zielinksi, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Cleveland State University, Chemistry Department
RachaelAndNickDi(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is an important man-made phthalate ester used ubiquitously as a plasticizer in various industrial applications. It is commonly found in cosmetics, PVC tubing, and intravenous tubing, as well as in the plastics used in the processing and packaging of many food items. In recent years, the use of DEHP and other similar commonly used plasticizers has received considerable scrutiny and media attention due to their demonstrated adverse health effects. DEHP is a proven endocrine disruptor and modulator. While recommendations have been made to limit exposure, due to its widespread use, little is known about the sources of exposure and their relative concentrations. We chose to examine three samples of commercially available milk, as well as one locally-sourced raw milk sample to determine whether milk might be a source of DEHP exposure. Milk, besides being a principal part of the Western diet, is unique in that upon contact with food processing equipment, it is warm (approximately 38°C) enough to effectively extract DEHP present in tubing using in commercial milk production. Employing liquid-liquid extraction techniques and gas coupled-mass spectroscopy, analytes of the four samples were examined. Though our compound was not found in any of the four samples, statistical analysis rendered our result inconclusive. Revisions to our methodology are indicated.

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Examining Histamine Levels in Red vs. White Wine as an Explanation for “Red Wine Headache”

Joseph Baum and Anand Brahmbhatt, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

JoeyAnandIs “Red Wine Headache” attributable to histamine levels in red wine? “Red Wine Headache” is a severe migraine type headache many individuals experience after even a single glass of red wine. Some have hypothesized that headache is a result of the higher histamine levels in red wine as compared to other types – since studies have shown that the same individuals experience no headache after drinking white wine. This dichotomy has been explained in previous research claiming that the primary difference between red and white wine is a higher level of histamine in red. With this in mind, researchers attempted to verify the existing estimates of histamine levels in red and white wine (287 and 162 ppm respectively). Our research indicated that histamine levels were far below these accepted values, at only 13-14% of expected levels. However, it is likely that the extraction process used in the following paper could be improved and likely contributed to the extremely low histamine levels. Because of this, no definitive claims can be made based upon our research in order to verify the level of histamine in red and white wine.

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Detection of Melamine in Powdered Milk Samples using High- Performance Liquid Chromatography UV.

Naa Ayele Amponsah, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

Naa-Ayele-Amponsah_PictureMelamine (2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-traizine) is an organic based that is used industrially to produce laminates, glues, adhesives and dinnerware. Due to the high nitrogen content of melamine (66% nitrogen by mass) it has been utilized illegally in food to increase the apparent protein content. Melamine contamination in food products became widely publicized after the 2008 infant milk formula scandal in China in which thousands of infants were sickened by melamine tainted milk products. In response to food safety concerns melamine detection in food products has become a major focus of governmental health agencies and scientists worldwide. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is one of the most utilized methods for detecting melamine because it is allows very low concentrations to be detected in a short period of time. The purpose of this experiment is to determine if three nutritional milk powder drinks purchased from an ethnic food market and infant formula were contaminated with melamine. HPLC-UV was utilized for this analysis. Samples were extracted with 1% trichloroacetic acid and acetonitrile, filtered and separated on a 3u column (18 100mm x 4.6 mm) with a citric acid 11mmol/L and sodium-1-decane sulfonate 8.0mmol/L mobile phase at a flow rate of 1.0mL/min. A linear calibration curve was obtained in the concentration range of 1-25 ug/mL. Melamine was found in two of the samples at 320.12 ug/mL and 145.37 ug/mL. These findings are above the FDA limit of 1 ug/mL for infants and 2.5 ug/mL for adults. Fortified samples provided a 35% recovery. Further experiments are warranted to improve the extraction technique, confirm melamine contamination in the milk powder samples, and improve percent recovery of fortified samples.

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Determination of Calcium Magnesium, and Zinc in American Jarred Baby Foods

Sharon Ware, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

SharonWare2The American baby food industry plays a significant role in addressing the nutritional needs of infants. The industry is influenced by Federal recommendations of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for infant development. Four different brands of baby food were analyzed for mineral content, by ICP instrumental analysis. Calibration curves were utilized to determine the various mineral concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and zinc in each brand. When compared to the indicated amounts of minerals included during manufacturing by the nutritional label, the brands were inconsistent with the listed among of minerals. The results suggest that more brands should be further analyzed to determine whether manufacturers are correctly indicating mineral contents on nutritional labels.

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Methods for Determining Concentrations of Phosphorus and Sodium Component of NaCl in Water Samples

Christopher Blake Almaguer, REELGeneral Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

ChristopherThe detailed overview of the method for testing phosphorus concentrations in water samples by using the molybdate blue method is used in conjunction with the UV visible spectroscopy to determine concentrations of phosphorus in water samples. This method can be applied to testing the concentrations in soils by extracting the phosphorus from the soil and measuring the absorbance in the near infrared. The brief overview of the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spec (ICP) method for testing concentrations of sodium in water samples is also presented here.

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Examining the Presence of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in Teflon Coated Cookware through Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy

Kate Kelly, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

KateKellyPerfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a fluorinated carbon compound used in the manufacture of nonstick coating, specifically Teflon, commonly found in cookware. PFOA has been linked to heart attack, cancer, pituitary gland issues, and stroke, particularly through inhalation of vapors. A concern of older Teflon products is the scraping of the coating that occurs with overuse. In addition, as the boiling point of PFOA (189⁰C) is lower than the smoke point of most cooking oils (200⁰C and higher), there was an interest in the effect of overheating on Teflon particles. This experiment examined the presence of PFOA in Teflon particles when subject to overheating (190⁰C) through the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR), specifically, 13C NMR and 19F NMR. Based on the 19F NMR results, it is reasonable to conclude that fluorine is present in the Teflon sample taken from the cookware, and indication of the presence of PFOA. However, because NMR spectroscopy is qualitative in nature, further research on levels of PFOA in Teflon scrapings should be conducted using electrospray liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS).

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Determination of the Presence of Methyl and Ethyl Parabens in Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Lotion

Maryam Audu, RN, BSN, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

MaryamIn 1984, when p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters (also known as parabens) were legalized by the FDA for use as antimicrobial preservatives in cosmetics, an amount of 25% per given sample was deemed acceptable. Recently, questions have been raised about the safety of their use in cosmetics, and Chanel Hydra serum (being a very industrious and profitable company) was tested in this experiment to check for the presence of these potentially harmful ingredients. Sample sets were tested using High Performance Liquid Chromatography, compared with standard stock solutions, in order to determine the presence of parabens, if any, in the serum lotion.

MATERIALS: Methyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Lotion Sample (Hydra Serum), Distilled H2O, Methanol, HPLC Instrument, Vortex Instrument, Centrifuge Instrument.

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Investigation of Diethyl and Dimethyl Phthalate Concentrations in Facial Care Products

Geetika Srivastava, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

20150511_152339Phthalates, the main organic component of plastic, is often added into manufactured products to lower the cost of the final product. Despite no known risk as of yet, there has been an increased concern over the years as to the effects of phthalates on the human body, particularly on reproductive risks. Three off-the-counter facial care products were analyzed because all had a fragrance, which the phthalate DEP is often used as a solvent for. This study used direct extraction methods and GC/MS analysis to determine amounts of diethyl and dimethyl phthalate (DEP and DMP) present in the samples. Results from the GC/MS showed presence of DMP in one of the samples.

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Determination of PAHs in Wastewater Collected from High Traffic Areas Around the CSU Campus

Megan Cunningham, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

MeganCunninghamAreas subject to high traffic, such as busy streets and parking garages, are prime spots for accumulation of PAHs. Lengthy exposure to PAHs is linked to numerous health problems, and contact with high concentrations of them should be avoided as much as possible. The current maximum permissible value of PAHs in water falls between 0.0002 ppm and 0.0067 ppm. Collection of the samples came from four different locations. Output from the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument aided in the formation of the calibration curves and lines of best-fit showed that the stock solution and standards for phenanthrene and fluoranthene were prepared correctly. After testing the precision of the liquid-liquid extraction methods used and computing the concentration values of the samples, it was clear that the concentration values for phenanthrene exceeded the maximum permissible scope. The values for fluoranthene fell outside of the calibration curves’ range.
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Determination of Nickel and Mercury in Powdered Makeup

Kayla Davidson, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

KaylaThe purpose of this research was to determine the nickel and mercury content in three different brands of powder bronzers. It was determined that Brand A (bareMinerals All-Over Face Color in warmth) contained 6.3082 ppm of nickel and 236.23 ppm of mercury and Brand B ( Covergirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Bronzer) contained 6.9947 ppm of nickel and 86.764 ppm of mercury.
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“Quantification of Polyethylene Microbeads in Grooming Products and their Role in Environmental Glyphosate Contamination”

Paul Orefice, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

PaulPolyethylene Microbeads are commonly used in grooming products to enhance the abrasiveness of the product, however, these beads are extremely resistant to environmental degradation and may absorb and introduce organic pollutants into waterways. These microbeads are commonly introduced into the ecosystem through distribution of sewage sludge, sewage treatment overflow, and direct release. Furthermore, due to a large surface-to-volume ratio and chemical composition, these beads may accumulate P.B.T.’s (or persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic compounds) and E.D.C.’s (endocrine disrupting compounds), and due to the beads having a positive density in freshwater are prone to consumption by filter feeding marine organisms. Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum phosphanoglycine herbicide, is a compound that may experience high rates of contact with Microplastic beads. Since glyphosate relies on contact with soil for compound deactivation, microbead contact may present a serious safety hazard. This study seeks to determine if polyethylene microbeads may be contaminated by glyphosate, and by determining the mean amount of microbeads per product as well as per product absorption rates, determine the risk of environmental contamination by glyphosate contaminated microbeads.
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Detecting Phthalate Presence in Kuerig Brand Coffee Pods

Chris Verdi, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

20150511_144843A wide variety of phthalates (dimethyl, diethyl, dioctyl, dibutyl) are used commonly as plasticizers in products that vary from children’s toys, to plastic piping, to food products. In recent years the health impacts of exposure to phthalates has become increasingly concerning due to research revealing the immunotoxic, genotoxic, and hormonal impacts that these chemicals have been proven to cause. This study utilized spectral analysis (gas chromatography and Mass Spectrometry) to detect the presence of dimethyl, diethyl, and dibutyl phthalates in the plastics of Kuerig brand coffee pods. The study concluded that there is a small presence of dibutyl phthalate used as a plasticizer in single serve coffee pods.
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Detecting Phthalate Presence in Kuerig Brand Coffee Pods

Hayley Reeves, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

HayleyIn this report, bisphenol A (BPA) detection is proven possible and simple using high performance liquid chromatography-UV (HPLC-UV). A stock solution of BPA dissolved in methanol was serially diluted, concentrations ranging from 100 ppm to 6.25 ppm, and analyzed by HPLC-UV. The calibration curve was linear with an average response factor of 130380.8, standard deviation of 28146. It is therefore possible to detect and quantify unknown amounts of the polar organic molecule BPA in solutions.
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Determination of Copper, Nickel, and Lead Concentration in Over the Counter Multivitamins by Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy

Alexis Felty, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

AlexisFeltyOver the counter multi-vitamins do not need to be approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Package labeling is often inaccurate, and leaves out trace metal elements found in the vitamins. Americans taking these daily vitamins are unaware of what they are actually putting in their bodies because the labelling is assumed to be honest and correct. In this study, five different popular vitamin brands were analyzed using ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) spectroscopy. Each vitamin brand listed nowhere on their packaging that they contained lead, however, trace amounts of lead were found. The same results were true in varying amounts for Copper and Nickel concentrations. This indicates that vitamin labeling is often inaccurate, and doesn’t list everything actually found in each vitamin. Many people taking these vitamins will exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of these metals.
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Dichloromethane detection in select Decaffeinated Coffee brands utilizing Gas Chromatography Infrared Spectroscopy and Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Saeed Khoncarly and Veeral Shah, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

VeeralSaeedCoffee is the world’s most consumed beverage in the world. Therefore, it naturally stands to reason that individuals must be certain that what they are consuming is safe. There exist several methods of decaffeinating coffee for consumption but the method of interest is the Direct-Solvent Method. The direct solvent method uses a chemical called Dichloromethane (DCM) as a means of extraction, however several studies have linked DCM to carcinogenesis. Several different decaffeinated coffees were tested for the presence of DCM through both Gas Chromatography Infrared Spectroscopy and also through Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. DCM was present in the decaffeinated coffee.
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The Effects of Air and Light on the Concentration of Vitamin E in Skin Cream

Olga Grech and Katarina Mijic-Barisic, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

CatOlgaThe purpose of this experiment was to determine how concentrations of tocopherol acetate are effected in in skin creams after being exposed to air and light. This commonly known synthetic form of Vitamin E is put into skincare products that claim to enhance protection from ultraviolet rays, promote skin healing, and make skin firmer and stronger. Vitamin E degrades by photo-oxidation, and is highly susceptible to this degradation immediately upon exposure. Once Vitamin E in skin care products is exposed to air and light, its concentration significantly starts to decrease; therefore, every time a jar of cream containing Vitamin E is opened, it immediately started to lose the amount of the potentially beneficial antioxidant with it. Reverse-Phase High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used to evaluate polar solutes, and Vitamin E, in standard solutions, to validate our testing method upon completion of a concentration curve. Comparative unopened and opened skin care samples with Vitamin E were then tested using Reverse Phase HPLC, and the final results indicated that the original hypothesis was a valid argument.

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Water Crystal Formation in Diesel Fuel With Surfactant Additives

James Maher, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

IMG_20150512_132411This study revolves around the use of various surfactants when added to diesel fuel at low concentrations. The diesel fuel first must be contaminated with water before the adds are made, which is the purpose of the experiment. Diesel Fuel has a Freezing Point of around -10 Celsius while water has a freezing point of around 0 celsius. The three surfactants being tested are Triton X-100 which is nonionic, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (S.D.S) which is Anionic and Benzethonium Chloride (B.C.) which is a cationic surfactant. All three of these were tested in order to incorporate the full range of surfactants in the data collection.
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Determination of Lead Content in Sunflower Kernels

Kane Vaughan, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

KaneVaughnThe experiment was conducted to determine the concentration of lead present in sunflower kernels. Kernels that had been sold as foodstuffs were chosen, as lead entering the food supply is of particular importance. Sunflower kernel samples, obtained from local grocer, were digested by nitric acid and the resulting sample was analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry to determine concentration present in the samples. Concentrations were obtained for two independent samples: Sample A containing lead concentrations of 0.927 ppm dry weight and Sample B containing concentrations of 2.243 ppm dry weight.
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Presence of Methyl, Ethyl, and Butyl Parabens in Household Mouthwash

Sarah J. Bixel, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

Sarah-BIxelThis research examines the concentration of three parabens- methyl, ethyl, and butyl- in nine different samples of commonly used mouthwashes. If a large concentration of any of the parabens were found in the samples, this would be a health concern. Paraben has been linked to cause slight endocrine effects similar to estrogen that can increase the development of breast cancer. Mouthwash samples were diluted with water and then syringe filtered to then be run through the high performance liquid chromatography instrument (HPLC) to detect the absorbance of paraben and to calculate concentration based on the linear equation of the paraben’s standard curves. All of the parabens were detected in several of the samples, but none of the concentrations were of the Federal Drug Association’s (FDA) health concern. Sample 2 had the highest concentration of paraben, found at a concentration of 101.88ppm. Further research into the paraben concentration in common household products is recommended because of the great research into the negative effects of the chemical that may outweigh the benefits of preservation and antibacterial use.
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Assessing the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Concentration in Environmental Samples Gathered From High-Risk Urban Vicinities

Aicha Quamine, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

AichaPolycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs) are environmentally persistent hydrocarbons which are emitted through incomplete combustion. PAHs tend to have 2 or more individual or fused aromatic rings connected by a common carbon atom. Although these molecules enter the environment through natural and synthetic ways, recent issues with waste incineration and Pollution have increased the volume of toxic and complex hydrocarbons. Both the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have identified these compounds as environmental and health concerns as they are known to interfere with biomes and biochemical processes. To monitor and evaluate the level of PAHs found locally in Northeast Ohio, this experiment is designed to analyze polluted bodies of water in both high industry locations and suburban locations. Sample preparations were created through liquid-liquid extraction techniques and the use of Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Conclusive data on the presence of PAHs in the selected water supplies were not obtained allowing us to hypothesize that the levels of PAHs are much lower than the concentrations tested. Further investigation is required to determine the validity of our data to derive conclusive results.
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Determination of Tetracycline in Chicken Liver

Kanooj Khan, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

KanoojA simple and tedious method using stock solution was performed to quantitatively determine the presence of tetracycline in chicken liver.The quantitative screening method covered three samples of Chicken liver: Organic, Kosher and regularmeat. Tetracyclineamounts were simultaneously detected after a sample solution was developed consisting of an extraction with a mixture of acetonitrile and Hydrochloric Acid. The extract was purified and examined using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The methodology and quantitative analysis was validated by Calibration Curve obtained with the HPLC peak results. The recovery results were between acceptable levels of 81% – 119%. The readings were compared to the prepared spiked samples of Tetracycline and the calibration curve calculations strongly prove the presence of tetracycline compounds in the Kosher/Halal Chicken liver and the regular Chicken Liver sample. In addition, the Organic Chicken Liver had no traces of Tetracycline compounds and was found to be safe for human consumption.

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Analysis of Heavy Metals in Protein Supplements

Amelia Holt, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

AmeliaHoltProtein supplement consumption is a very popular strategy for people whether they are seeking a healthier lifestyle, or they just intend to increase their protein intake. Normal sources of protein are foods such as meat, fish, chicken, and dairy products. For most people consuming these foods are a simple and effective way to get protein, but there are a variety of reasons for people to feel the need to improve their protein intake. Some instances would be for weight training, increasing your energy, fighting the aging process, or even a person who may be converting to a vegan lifestyle. However, in these protein supplements there are some metals coming from the artificial additives and products during the manufacturing process. There are certain levels for which these heavy metals are found to be outside of the human tolerance level. This project’s purpose is to determine the concentrations for some of these heavy metals within different varieties of popular protein shakes, and test them against the recommended levels set by the FDA.
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Determination of Phosphorous in Coffee

Anthony Lumaban, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

AnthonyCoffee is consumed regularly in the world, and although many of its effects are beneficial, there are chemicals in the drink serve little to no purpose. One of the substances found in coffee is phosphorous, which can also be found in tea and cacao1. Because phosphorous can be found in the drink, it reacts and forms phosphoric acid, which is a contributor to the low pH level of coffee. Phosphoric acid is an inorganic polyprotic acid which can be formed by the synthesis reaction of the phosphate ion and water. Some dangers in consumption of phosphoric acid are lower bone density and kidney disease. ICP was employed to determine the levels of phosphorous in regular and decaffeinated coffees.

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Chloride Ion Concentration in Drinking Water

Gloria Llakmani and Diana Parks, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

GloriaDianaThe treatment and distribution of water for safe use is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century. Before cities began routinely treating drinking water with chlorine, cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, and hepatitis A killed thousands of United States residents annually. Drinking water chlorination and filtration have helped to virtually eliminate these diseases in the U.S. and other developed countries. Meeting the goal of clean, safe drinking water requires a multi-barrier approach that includes: protecting source water from contamination, appropriately treating raw water, and ensuring safe distribution of treated water to consumers’ taps. During the treatment process, chlorine is added to drinking water as elemental chlorine (chlorine gas), sodium hypochlorite solution or dry calcium hypochlorite. When applied to water, each of these forms free chlorine, which destroys pathogenic organisms. Despite its ubiquitous use on drinking water, one drawback is that chlorine reacts with natural organic compounds in the water to form potentially harmful chemical by-products trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), both of which are carcinogenic in large quantities and regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The formation of THMs and haloacetic acids may be minimized by effective removal of as many organics from the water as possible prior to chlorine addition. Chlorine levels in drinking water were determined using a chloride ion selective electrode.

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Formaldehyde Content of Water Stored in Various Brands of Plastic Bottles

Mark Chung and Czharena Kay Rama, REEL Organic Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

KayMark The purpose of this research experiment was to measure the concentration of formaldehyde (CH2O) that migrates from the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic of three different brands of bottled water to the water itself after storage at three different temperatures. After approximately 1.5 months of storage, we extracted the CH2O from the water using a derivatizing agent, O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl) oxylamine (PFBOA). Each non-aqueous sample was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results show that CH2O was present in very low concentrations. Variations in concentration seem to be present between different brands of plastic and temperatures.

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Formaldehyde Content of Water Stored in Various Brands of Plastic Bottles

Cheyenne A. Koubeck, REEL General Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University

CheyenneAutomobile transmission fluids collect metal particles as the automobile ages. Aluminum and iron concentrations found in transmission fluid were determined using ICP.

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