TU Chemistry Student Wins 2005 Udall Scholarship

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Todd Hoppe, a chemistry major at The University of Tulsa who is seeking an alternative to chlorine for use in water treatment, has won a Udall Scholarship.

Hoppe is one of only 80 undergraduates in the nation named as a Udall scholar. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 annually for a student’s junior or senior year of study.

Hoppe, who plans to earn a doctorate in chemistry, has been testing the use of chlorine dioxide to purify water. A junior from Sand Springs, he won a Goldwater scholarship last year.

Chlorine, while used to kill harmful viruses and bacteria, also reacts with substances in water to create toxic compounds such as chloroform, which can cause cancer. Chlorine dioxide eliminates the same pathogens and does not produce the carcinogen, but because of its toxicity, must be removed from potable water. Hoppe is searching for the best way to remove the chlorine dioxide.

Hoppe made a poster presentation on his research at the American Chemical Society’s conference in March, and he co-authored, with his chemistry professor, Gordon Purser, an article that appeared in last October’s issue of the International Journal of Chemical Kinetics.

He volunteers as a counselor at the summer West Side Alliance Soccer Camp. He and other students sample a creek once a month to monitor water quality as part of the Blue Thumb water quality program of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.

Hoppe has participated twice in TU’s Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program, in which students work with a faculty mentor for 10 weeks in the summer.