Jocelyne Chavez » Fall 2016 URS Student Profiles – NMSU

Jocelyne Chavez

Major: Chemical and Materials Engineering Mentor: Dr. Reza Foudazi, Assistant Professor,Department of Chemical Engineering at New Mexico State University
Home Phone: URS Fall 2016
Photo of Jocelyne Chavez

Biographical Info

Personal Statement 

My name is Jocelyne Chavez and I am currently a sophomore pursing a BS in Chemical Engineering with an anticipated graduation date of 2019. I chose this major due to the vast applications it has and because of my love for science and math. I have always been intrigued by patterns and processes, which are all, encapsulated by many roles that chemical engineers partake in. Additionally, obtaining an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering will help challenge me and prepare me for the rigorous coursework encountered in medical school.

Support from the Alliance for Minority Participation program as an Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS) has provided me with the opportunity to become involved with research and introduced me to a team of very successful students, all with the help of my research advisor, Dr. Reza Foudazi, who is an assistant professor for the Department of Chemical Engineering. This team is exceptional in the fact that we are encouraged to take our knowledge a step further in an attempt to provide answers to difficult questions. Also, we are pushed to think outside of the box and develop critical thinking skills.

My research is focused on Carbon Dioxide emissions and using what we know about carbon absorbing minerals known as Zeolites, to imitate their structure and generate synthetic organic-metal frameworks with an enhanced ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Given greenhouse gasses and their adverse effects on our environment, this project is of great importance, as further advancements in this field will hopefully provide a method for reducing the concentration of pollutants in our atmosphere and addressing a growing global issue.

With the help and support from the AMP program I am on my way to improving my scientific method skills meanwhile gaining ample amounts of laboratory experience. Although my future plans involve a career in medicine, engaging in research will help me with many of the skills that are important for both a doctor and a professional chemical engineer.



Metal-Organic Framework Synthesis and Modification to enhance Carbon Dioxide Uptake

Carbon Dioxide pollution is a growing global issue that has many adverse effects contributing to the deterioration of the environment. Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) posses the unique ability to address this issue by capturing carbon dioxide and storing the gas within the pores of its’ structure. Therefore, the object of the investigation is to adjust multiple and various parameters to increase the cage size of the framework in order to optimize carbon dioxide gas uptake. Specifically, DeNovo synthesis tests a combination of different, appropriate, compounds and experimental procedures to produce new “recipes” for MOF’s. Based on previous experiments and literature reviews, a ratio of linker to metal is determined using the compounds stoichiometric coefficients, then varying the parameters such as temperature, solvent type, co-solvent type, and metal salt, a MOF is synthesized and analyzed using x-ray crystallography. Observed results have shown that the combination of a polar protic co-solvent with a non-polar aprotic solvent yields a higher amount of product with a larger cage structure. Given the large pool of adjustable parameters, there is a great deal of research remaining to develop the most efficient and cost effective MOF.