Image Credit: ISU Photographic Services

ISU Chemist's Cyanide Project Earns Idaho National Laboratory Award

Jeffrey Rosentreter

Chemistry professor Jeffrey Rosentreter's role in the development of a method to quickly test for cyanide in drinking water and other potential sources of contamination earned him an Idaho National Laboratory inventor's plaque and honorarium.

Rosentreter, Ph.D., an ISU Distinguished Researcher Award recipient, was recognized in December for his collaborative work with INL's technology transfer and commercialization department that eventually led to a United States patent.

Each year INL sponsors an awards banquet to recognize all inventors who received patents or national level awards during the preceding year.

As reported by the "Worldwide Health Monitor," the new method for detecting cyanide in drinking water and other sources offers numerous advantages over cumbersome existing technology.

Rosentreter, along with former ISU faculty Yegor Timofeyenko and Susan Mayo, developed an inexpensive and portable device.

The sensor uses a quartz crystal coated with gold. Cyanide dissolves the gold and the dissolving rate can be measured. The new sensor detects toxins in water instantaneously and targets the specific form of cyanide toxic to humans and other organisms.

Rosentreter is a professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research areas include environmental and analytical chemistry. His current projects include the archaeological evaluation of prehistoric stone tools, analyzing the geothermometry in the Yellowstone Basin, and exploring the solar remediation of environmental contaminants.