Abstract by Stephen Patterson

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Stephen Patterson

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Roger Harrison


Detection of Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylic Acids in Groundwater


In recent years, perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids, used as surfactants in various manufacturing sites, have been discovered in local groundwater. We have conducted research to find a molecule that will bind to the perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids and allow its detection by ion chromatography. In this present work, 1,2-phenylenediamine is used as the starting compound and we have expanded it with other functional groups including diacids and anhydrides. After the anhydride synthetic step, the molecule is reacted with arginine ester in acetic anhydride. The final step includes attaching to a resorcinarene. Recent trials have given us positive mass spectrometry results of the molecule with arginine. We are still pursuing a clean NMR of the product. My presentation will cover our synthesis of the molecule to be used to bind perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids. Overall, we are confident that the positive charge on the guanidine group from our product will bind to perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids and give the desired ion chromatography readings to detect this surfactant.