Faculty Sponsor

Julie Peller


Arts and Sciences


Environmental Chemistry, Introduction to Chemistry Research

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


In industrial regions, such as those in Northwestern Indiana, raw input, waste, and other products of industry are moved to and from their manufacturing locations, and can affect and be detected in local ecosystems. One method of qualifying the presence of any potentially hazardous industrial byproducts is by sampling the dust which accumulates along roads, called Road Dust Sediments (RDS), and chemically analyzing these samples for numerous properties. Road dust, which is a mixture of organic and inorganic compounds, can be used as an indicator for what pollutants are present in a particular area. Through an analysis of samples collected from across the country, we were able to identify various properties of the sediment samples, such as pH, metal presence, organic compound composition, and solubility in water to determine the overall makeup of the samples. Methods used for analysis of RDS samples included Liquid Chromatography (LC), Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), pH determination, organic carbon analysis, and visual analysis using a microscope. Overall, the results seemed to indicate a higher level of pollutants in areas closer to industry compared to areas more removed from industry.