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August 22, 2006
UD Receives Grant for Soybean Research



The University of Dubuque recently received a $3,900 grant from the Iowa Science Foundation (ISF) (under the auspices of the Iowa Academy of Science) to pilot the research project, "Metal Complexation with Soybean Induced Ligands: Scientific Approaches for Potential Application to Metal Contaminated Soil Remediation."

"Funds from this grant will allow us to initiate a study ofthe remediation of metal contaminated soil using environmental friendly products," stated Chulsung Kim, project director and assistant professor of chemistry. "I am happy to have ISF's financial support for this initial research. The project will provide our environmental science students with many opportunities to do important, field-based research. Soybeans are a strong economic asset for Iowa, and the findings from this research will provide information to help design future additional applications of soybeans and their products. We appreciate the support from local farmers who donated soy beans for this research."

In this project, well-designed experiments will be performed to study the fate of toxic heavy metals such as lead, copper, and zinc as they interact with non-toxic soybean induced chelating agents. Soybeans and soybean products such as soybean meal will be investigated for their potential to dissolve toxic heavy metals in agricultural soils under various environmental conditions.

The research results will provide a fundamental scientific understanding for the potential application of non-toxic soybean products to heavy metal contaminated soil remediation. Soybean products might then be used to replace synthetic chelating agents, which have negative health effects.

"Research like this not only enhances our knowledge of one of Iowa's most important farm products, but it also provides significant opportunities for students," said John Stewart, vice president for academic affairs. "Students will apply what they have learned in environmental chemistry coursework to the important regional challenge or remediating contaminated soils."

The results obtained through this research will be shared through various means, such as conference presentations, including at the Iowa Academy of Science.

The Iowa Science Foundation is a state-supported grant program administered by the Iowa Academy of Science- a non-profit organization established to promote scientific research, science education, public understanding of science, and recognition of excellence in these endeavors.