Professor Earns NATO Grant for Water Decontamination Project
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech Chemistry Professor Virender Sharma, coordinator of a collaborative environmental project with European research scientists,
has received EUR 15,000, or more than $22,000, from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Public Diplomacy Division. The researchers will apply an
innovative treatment to decontaminate biological and chemical warfare agents in aquatic systems, such as Eastern Europe’s Danube River.
Sharma and his team will work on a treatment technology involving the environmentally friendly oxidants iron(IV) and iron(VI). The oxidants are known to
create fast reaction rates, generate benign end products and react to a broad spectrum of chemical and biological threat agents. Sharma recently had a
breakthrough in his laboratory. He conducted solid-state synthesis of these iron oxidants in high yields which caused rapid destruction of chemical warfare
and terrorism agents.
Researchers collaborating with Sharma are from Moscow State University in Russia; Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic; Institute
of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic; Ukrainian State Chemical Technological University; and PalackyUniversity, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Sharma earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Miami, a master’s in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, and bachelor’s
and master’s degrees from the University of Delhi, India.