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Chemistry that's Environmentally Friendly

Dr. McGaff has been interested in so-called “green chemistry” for many years. Recently, he and his colleagues identified a scarcity of systems for accomplishing industrially relevant green oxidations, which is where much of their initial interest came from. They have started to comabt this scarcity by developing alternative processes by which commercially important oxidations can be carried out without the use of added organic solvents and catalysts or oxidants that contain harmful and/or expensive heavy metals.

In transitioning from lab work to outside applicability, he has learned how to better design projects that are focused on obtaining industrially relevant results.There are a lot of interesting projects that could be pursued, but not all of them hold a strong likelihood for producing new technologies that could one day be adopted on a large scale. McGaff has also learned a great deal about the process by which intellectual property can be protected through patenting.

This is a subject about which he knew virtually nothing before the relationship with WiSys began. He explains that beyond the impact that WiSys funding has had on his work, the application-oriented nature of WiSys as an organization has helped develop a focus on developing technologies with real potential for commercialization.

McGaff is very confident that his team's research focus will remain in the area of industrially relevant green organic oxidations, given the success they have had over the past year and a half of working on this project.