College of Science, Technology, and Health

Biovation Working with USM Chemistry Students

Biovation working with USM Chemistry Students

A team of researchers from the University of Southern Maine has been working in collaboration with Biovation, a manufacturing company based in Boothbay, Maine. The team, which includes two undergraduate chemistry students, is being led by Dr. Lucille Benedict, Assistant Professor of Chemistry.  Biovation has challenged the researchers to investigate and analyze very precise amounts of gaseous chlorine dioxide that is present in a given volumetric space. The method used to determine chlorine dioxide (ClO2) in the headspace from the conceptual product iterations provided by Biovation was an adaptation of the OSHA 202 method for the analysis of ClO2 in workplace air.  A 6-point calibration curve was created and over 200 samples were tested as a function of concentration (ranging from 0.1 ppm to 800 ppm) and time (ranging from 1 hour to 6000 hours) in order to determine the appropriate gas release profile.  A working knowledge of the gas release profile will significantly aid Biovation in the design of its products for customers in its target markets. This collaboration has allowed Dr. Benedict’s analytical lab to branch out from environmental analysis and work on product testing in the food sciences arena, giving students a different view on what an analytical laboratory can do and broadening the labs' capabilities.