Research with the Battiste Group

▼   Teaching Philosophy
My concept of a "good" teacher is a person who has the requisite knowledge, is able to communicate this knowledge to students, is considerate of different learning styles, is consistent in class administration, is impartial, is encouraging, is enthusiastic about the course being taught, and is open to discussion about the subject or the profession whenever encountered, in or out of the classroom.
▼   Research

We have all become Analytical Chemists. The quality of our decisions depends upon the quality and timeliness of the data collected and that depends upon the quality of the analytical application and the instrumentation used to provide the data. In-line Process Analytical Chemistry is a recognized key component of chemical industry professionals and several graduate programs in the United States. Some technical schools and 2-year colleges offer training for technicians in the area of instrumentation service and support and distributed control system operation. However, classically educated undergraduates in chemistry have little experience on the practical aspects of their education in quantitative analysis related to process analytical chemistry. The chemometrics principals found in experimental design, principal components of analysis, partial least squares analysis; multivariate calibration and multivariate validation are lightly covered in most advanced undergraduate instrumental analysis courses because of the time it takes to cover classical topics. No on-line monitoring of reactions is included in freshman general or sophomore organic chemistry labs. Yet, industrial chemists, of all levels – BS, MS and PhD – in technical or managerial functions and in all sub-disciplines of chemistry have an increasing need to have process analysis skills because typical laboratory positions in operational chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical plants have been disappearing at a rapid pace over the last decade as companies downsize operations staffs.

Because the need for process analyses continues in the commercial manufacturing plant, whether or not there is anyone in the Control Lab to run the test, the main way more technically savvy companies have found to provide the same level of analytical coverage is through conscious support of technical professionals in this area and implementation of at-line, on-line or in-line process analytical equipment. The pharmaceutical process analytical technology initiative funded by the National Science Foundation has focused resources on this issue over the last 5 years. More European universities have process analytical course offerings than their US counterparts. Even ports and police forensic chemistry departments have the need to use chemometrics to rapidly and non-invasively identify illegal substances and to perform library searches of spectral data with instrumentation which can be deployed in the field.

Our goal is to provide positive exposure to process analytical chemistry in the education of chemists, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers and future management personnel who will find jobs in US industry with hands-on operation and experience with high quality process analytical instrumentation to enhance their interest in an analytical chemistry career as a bachelor’s degreed professional or to pursue an advanced degree education in the field.

Insect Pheromone Synthesis Quantitative Analysis of Pheromones in Traps and Lures
Traps and lures, using attractant pheromones, are used across the United States to identify and monitor invasive insect species. The Battiste group works together with Dr. David Forbes and Dr. Jason Coym to develop analytical methods for the verification, confirmation and quantitation of lure and trap active ingredients for two invasive insects attacking pine and spruce trees.

Two main analytical chemistry projects of this program are to develop and apply analytical methods for the extraction, separation and quantitation of the components of the (1) Spruce Blend Lure and the (2) Chalcographus Lure. The Spruce Blend Lure, which has been shown to attract Tetropium fuscum (F.) and Tetropium castaneum (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), simulates five (5) monoterpenes that are emitted from red spruce trees; α-Pinene, β-Pinene, 3-Carene, Limonene and α -Terpinolene. The Chalcographus Lure is composed of Chalcogran and methyl-2,4-decadienoate, two male-produced pheromones emitted by Pityogenes chalcographus, as well as 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, a major volatile found in pine trees which is an attractant for other similar bark beetle species.

We use classical organic chemistry techniques and state of the art analytical tools such as proton and carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for identification. Separation and quantitative analysis methods are based on gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

In a third part of our analytical chemistry effort, we conduct NMR analysis to confirm chemical structure on lures & traps (or active ingredient components) as requested.

Synthesis of Trimedlure
The synthetic organic chemistry target for the group is the active ingredient of the Mediterranean fruit fly pheromone, t-butyl-2-methyl-4-chlorocyclohexanecarboxylate. This compound is one of four (4) possible isomers produced by the current synthetic route to commercial Trimedlure. Our primary goal is to apply synthetic methods, reported in the literature, to provide a sufficient quantity of this compound to our sponsor, to have an independent standard. A secondary goal is to develop an improved synthetic method to produce a larger quantity of the correct active isomer.

▼   Recent Publications & Collaborations

Knight, C. C, Mockel, W. D., Coym J. W., Forbes, D. C., & Battiste, D. R. (2012) Chalcographus Beetle Lure:  Extraction and Quantitative Analysis. [Abstract].  19th Annual University of South Alabama Research Forum, Mobile, AL, United States, March 27-30, 2012.

Clements, J. W., Mockel, W. D., Oertli, C., Arnold, S. E., Forbes, D. C., Hoffman, N. W., & Battiste, D. R. Microwave Assisted   Diels Alder Synthesis of trans-6-methyl-3-cyclohexene carboxylic acid. University of South Alabama Research Symposium, Poster 36, Spring 2011.

Knight, C. C., Mockel, W. D., Coym, J. C., Forbes, D. C., & Battiste, D. R., Chalcographus Beetle Lure:  Quantitative Analysis, University of South Alabama Research Symposium, Poster 35, Spring 2011.

Knight, C. C., Mockel, W. D., Coym, J. C., Forbes, D. C., & Battiste, D. R. Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle Lure:  Extraction and Quantitative Analysis, University of South Alabama Research Symposium, Poster 34, Spring 2011.

Phillips, E. H., Clements, J. W., Mockel, W. D., Oertli, C., Forbes, D. C., Hoffman, N. W., & Battiste, D. R. Improved Microwave Assisted Diels Alder Synthesis of trans-6-methyl-3-cyclohexene carboxylic acid. University of South Alabama Research Symposium, Abstract Submitted, Fall 2011.

Battiste, D. R., Salter, E. A., & Barletta, R. E. (2010). Raman spectra of homonuclear diatomic molecules resonance Raman spectrum of bromine vapor. The Chemical Educator, 15, 231.

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