William Smith junior Barbara Beckingham recently received a $550 grant from the Rochester Academy of Science (RAS) for her proposal entitled “Reactivity of Indium Surfaces in Grignard-Like Reactions”. Beckingham's research explores “green” chemistry, which seeks environmentally friendly alternatives to important industrial processes. Specifically, Beckingham will be studying the kinetics of the formation of indium compounds. With a more fundamental understanding of the reactions, indium promises to replace the use of Grignard reagents. Because the indium reactions proceed readily in water while Grigard reagents require hazardous and toxic solvents, such a substitution will decrease pollutants from factories whose products range from pharmaceuticals to plastics.
The RAS described Beckingham's proposal as “outstanding” and granted her their maximum award.