Exploring metals in the environment and art topic of chemistry, biochemistry seminar

Friday,  Feb. 25 | 2-2:50 p.m. | Langseth 118 | Jeffrey Bodwin, Ph.D.

Adventures in Flame: Exploring metals in the environment and art

Understanding the metal content of a substance can be critical to understand their safety, materials properties, or aesthetic enjoyment. One method of determining the metal content of a substance is by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FlameAA) in which a solution of the metal of interest is introduced to a flame and the metal content quantified by use of the very precise atomic absorption characteristics of the metal. A pilot study of metal content in soil samples from the MSUM Regional Science Center will be presented as an environmental application of FlameAA. Ten metals were analyzed by Flame AA from 30+ individual samples collected in Summer 2021. In a second study, the amount of metal that can be leached from ceramics and ceramic glazes is used as a means to address one aspect of the “food safe” quality of those clay bodies and their glazes. These studies both represent initial steps in a continuing program to apply FlameAA technology to the understanding of metals in our art and environment.