(85a) An Example Of Success Achieved With The Collaboration Mexico - Canada: A Scientific Project Sponsored By Conacyt – Mexico and Its IMPACT On Students

Authors: 
Serrano, B. Sr., Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas.
de Lasa, H. I., Western University
Moreira, J., University of Western Ontario



In November 2012, the National Science and Technology Council of Mexico (CONACYT) selected as a case of success the completed project 83144, Basic Science Call, 2007 – 01. The project’s title is “Photocatalytic Reactors with Different Scale and Novel Photocatalysts for the Water Decontamination”, being Dr. Benito Serrano Rosales the technical responsible. In addition, this project was presented in a conference in Can Cun, Mexico, with title “National Conference of Research of Basic Science, Successful Cases, CONACYT, Calls 2006 and 2007”.

The general objective of the proposal was to synthesize, characterize and test novel catalysts doped or impregnated with metals, in the photodegradation of organic pollutants in water by using solar and UV light. Reactors of different sizes, 7, 35 and 300 liters, are used to establish reaction mechanisms, reaction rates, irradiation fields, and reactor efficiencies.

This research project was regarded as a success case because six papers were published in high ranking journals (three in preparation),  two books as invited editors with one of them being re edited in China) and one book chapter, and because the following reasons:

Technical reasons:

The following original objectives planned in the protocol were achieved and published in the papers, books and presented in conferences and preceding: 1) Synthesize, characterize and test several photo catalysts, with different model compounds. 2) Propose a Unified Kinetic Model to describe the photo degradation of phenol, using six photo catalysts, in a broad range of concentrations and perform kinetic modeling. 3) Simulate the irradiation field of the Photo CREC Reactor using Monte Carlo. 4) Calculate the reactor efficiencies during the experiment span based on the hydroxyl radicals and intermediates. 5) Explain the effect of iron and other metals impregnated on the catalyst surface, during the degradation of phenol. 6) Use several metals when doping the catalyst.8) Utilize different reactor sizes in all experiments (7, 35 and 300 Liters). These objectives were achieved and published in papers, book chapters and presented in various conferences.

Academic Reasons: There was an impressive formation of human resources, thesis, summer research stays of students both in Mexico and Canada.

The following thesis were completed: Three doctoral, two master in science and eight undergraduate and the following thesis are in preparation: Four doctoral, three master in science and seven undergraduate. The work was divulgated in 23 conferences, Mexican and international.

There was mobility of students, researchers, faculties. The students sent to perform research stays: 1) In CREC – UWO - Canada, two graduate, six undergraduate. 2) In Universite Laval, Quebec City, four graduate, one undergraduate. Also, several students from Queretaro, Cohauila, performed summer research stays in the laboratory of UAZ.

National and international relationships with other universities.

The relationships with Mexican, Canadian and American universities were reinforced and increased. The following universities and researchers were involved:

1.- Universite Laval, Quebec Canada, Dr. Serge Kaliaguine. Involved students: Sarai Guevara Castillo (UAZ), Alfonso Talavera López (UAM-I), Omar Valdez Martinez (UAZ), Juan Carlos Paniagua Rodriguez (UMSNH).

2.- The University of Western Ontario, London Ontario Canada, Dr. Hugo de Lasa. This university was the main collaborator, and seven Mexican students have performed summer research stays, three Mexican students completed doctoral studies, and three students are pursuing the doctorate. Due this academic and scientific relationship we could publish papers, books, obtain a grant from IDRC-Canada to launch the Institute of Advanced Studies Canada – Mexico (IASCM) and to organize conferences in Mexico and Canada.

3.- Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana – Iztapalapa, Dr. Gustavo Fuentes and Dra. Gretchen Lapidus, the following students were involved: Alfonso Talavera Lopez and Oscar Joaquin Solis Marcial.

4.- Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Dr. Rafael Maya Yescas, student: Juan Carlos Paniagua Rodriguez.

5.- Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Dra Reyna Natividad and Dr. Armando Ramirez Serrano, students Eduardo Martin del Campo and Oscar Alvarado.

6.- Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Dr. Edgar Moctezuma Velazquez, student Alfonso Pinedo Escobar.

7.- Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Dr. Camilo Arancibia Bulnes and Dr. Rosa Ramirez Zamora, students Sayra Lissette Orozco Cerros, Sergio Cuevas and Mario Alberto Hernandez Mazatan.

8.- University of Tennesee Campus Chatanooga, Dr. Jim Henry, students Jose Alberto Gonzalez Guerrero, Adan de Jesus Zacarias Balderas.

It is possible to see that the technical aspects were fulfilled and exceeded; this was a proposal of basic science, with the main goals of generating scientific knowledge. Also, a very important point was the extension of the Heterogeneous Photocatalysis for water to the purification of air and hydrogen production through water dissociation. Based on the results and development of this project, these topics were proposed and initiated as new research lines, taking advantage of the experience and existing infrastructure. Also, several additional projects were written and approved due this project.

It is considered that this proposal had its most important impact in the development and formation of the involved students, inasmuch as undergraduate students were interested in scientific research and were motivated to pursue graduate studies. The graduated students were encouraged to continue with the doctoral program, they met professors and researchers from other universities, institutions, countries, and this eventually will serve to them to get jobs.

The success of this proposal was based on the enthusiastic participation of researchers, students and collaborators, but was facilitated by the excellent academic technical and scientific collaboration between UAZ and UWO – Canada, enhanced and promoted by the IASCM, created in 2005, an institute whose objectives are (among others): 1) Develop collaborative research in areas of strategic importance for both Canada and Mexico. This would consist of developing, testing and implementing technologies for the protection of the environment; the use of clean and renewable energy resources; as well as research on related socio-cultural, health, legal and migration issues. 2) Contribute to the training of Canadian and Mexican Master and PhD graduate researchers and university professors, in their respective fields.

This success case is an example of the importance of the international collaboration and its multiplicative effect on the formation of human resources, which leads to obtain more productivity in technical, scientific and academic areas.

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