University of Richmond Chemistry Professor Carol Parish Awarded $310,000 NSF Grant for Research on Alternative Energy Sources

August 8, 2018

University of Richmond chemistry professor Carol Parish has been awarded a $310,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her research project seeking to better understand alternative sources of energy such as oil sand and shale oil.

Parish, a nationally recognized leader in computational and theoretical chemistry, focuses on understanding the molecular behavior of energy-related materials as well as understanding the atomistic behavior of biomolecules.

“The primary goal of this research project is to better understand the molecular behavior of asphaltenes, a molecular substance found in crude oil,” Parish explains. “Specifically, we will be looking at results from high temperature decomposition and combustion reactions, which play important roles in astrochemistry, combustion chemistry, soot formation, and cancer antibiotics to name a few.”

Parish, who has taught at UR since 2005, is frequently honored for her commitment to mentoring undergraduates and increasing the number of underrepresented students in science. Earlier this year, Parish was named an Outstanding Faculty Award recipient by the State Council of Higher Education.

The NSF grant will include support for undergraduate research students during the summer and academic year.

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The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. The NSF is supporting Parish’s project, "RUI: Characterizing Pyrolysis and Combustion Pathways for Asphaltene Model Compounds,” with a three-year $310,000 grant.

Parish is pictured above with students during the 2018 A&S Symposium.