UNMC Environmental Seminar series

This information was gathered and published by MESYM from this source.

The UNMC School of Geography is pleased to host a series of lectures on topical environmental issue through which we hope to raise public awareness and interest. The programme is aimed at the general public and assumes no expert or prior knowledge. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Carol.DCruz@nottingham.edu.my and/or Lawal.Billa@nottingham.edu.my

Friday 28 February 2014; Time: 5.00pm – 6.30pm

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC) Chulan Tower, at Royal Chulan Hotel


Heavy metals such as mercury and lead ions have long been recognized as harmful environmental pollutants that can result in serious health risks. A case in time is the Minamata disease caused by methylmercury poisoning (Japan 1956). Early detection of such environmental pollution can protect human health and exposures to such harmful chemicals. Many techniques for analysing trace metals suffer from extensive analytical processes “figures of merit”. In this study introduces an optical sensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for detection of trace amounts of mercury and lead ions. This technique exhibited a good sensitivity, stability, and reproducibility in which the changes in refractive index of approximately 10−5 can be detected. The optical sensor is prepared using polypyrrole-chitosan (PPy-CHI) composite and used for monitoring of toxic metal ions with and without sensitivity enhancement by chitosan. Results show that the natural biopolymer of chitosan could enhance the sensitivity of the sensor; thus low concentration of Hg2+ and Pb2+ could be readily detected with less interference. The higher amounts of resonance angle unit (ΔRU) were obtained for PPy-CHI film due to a specific binding of chitosan with Pb2+ and Hg2+ ions. The concentrations of ions in the parts per million range produced the changes in the SPR angle minimum in the region of 0.03 to 0.07.

About the speaker: Dr. Mahnaz M. Abdi

Dr. Mahnaz M. Abdi is a Senior lecturer at the Centre of Foundation Studies for Agricultural Science and the Department of chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her research interests is in the area of Material and analytical chemistry, Application of polypyrrole-chitosan conducting polymer composite, Biopolymer derivatives and Wood and bionanocomposites. Dr Mahnaz has over 15 highly cited publications, 4 book chapter and 2 patents. Among the many exhibition awards she is the year 2013 gold medal recipient at the 24th international Invention, innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX). Dr Mahnaz a research associate with the Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products UPM and also a visiting research scientist at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Lulea, Sweden.

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