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David Nixon

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2019
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Catch <sup>9</sup><sub>4</sub> Be If You Can: Exploiting Second-Sphere Hydrogen Bonding Toward Chelation of Beryllium

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Beryllium is a crucial metal in the automotive, aviation, nuclear and consumer industries. The unique combination of high rigidity, low density, thermal stability and conductivity makes it highly useful in consumer products such as cell phones and computers. However, beryllium is the most toxic non-radioactive element, a class A carcinogen, and the cause of life-threatening chronic beryllium disease. Mr Nixon used a combination of computational and synthetic techniques to investigate the use of new chelators; chemical compounds that react with metal ions to form a stable, water-soluble complex, for the effective detection and remediation of beryllium in contaminated environments. He found that the addition of a buttress support system in the chelator design can increase its potency in binding beryllium.

Professor Paul Plieger
Associate Professor Gareth Rowlands