PhD Candidate Wins National Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry 

Shrish Patel, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, received a national award for his research that utilizes concrete waste for the removal of nitrogen dioxide, one of the most dangerous and prevalent air pollutants in the country. The American Chemical Society (ACS), which is one of the world’s largest scientific societies, has recognized Patel’s research by selecting him for the 2020 Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry.  

Shrish patel

Shrish Patel

Alexander Orlov, Patel’s PhD supervisor and professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, said, “Patel’s research is addressing one of the most critical environmental issues of recycling and disposing of the most abundant material humanity uses by weight and volume. His work on concrete being used as an inexpensive adsorbent for nitrogen and sulfur dioxides was mentioned in the international press.”

In his research, Patel used a novel approach of using demolished waste concrete to efficiently remove nitrogen dioxide from the simulated cement kiln stacks. Subsequently, his collaborators at Clarkson University used his samples to discover previously unknown anticorrosive properties of nitrogen dioxide exposed samples. During his research, Patel used advanced facilities at Brookhaven National Lab to understand fundamental aspects of concrete chemistry and to develop practical applications of his discovery. 

“Another remarkable fact about Shrish is his ability to develop a pathway from lab to market, especially in the clean energy field,” Orlov said. In addition to the ACS award, he previously received first prize in the 2019 Stony Brook Entrepreneurship Challenge, first prize in the 14th Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium Venture Showcase, and several other similar prizes. Last year he received the R&D 100 award, often referred to as the ‘Oscar of Innovation,’ a  highly sought-after distinction, which is rarely given to graduate students.

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