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Featured: Scholars In India

July 25, 2014

Ebone Monk

Ebone and Mekha in India

Ebone and Mekha in India

Last Sunday, I got to explore more of Chennai. I went to one of the local temples (Kapaleeshwar Temple) and had tiger rice while sitting on the ground bear-foot outside of the temple – that was a different experience. After I went to the Crocodile Park, and MGM Dizzie World. That was a long and exciting day starting at 8:00am and ending at 9:30pm. I swam, ate, and rode a mechanical bull! A great deal of our international friends are leaving, so many nights Mekha and I will meet up with them and have a going-away dinner. It’s really funny because there is someone leaving almost every night and our little group is getting smaller. I can’t believe our time in India is almost over – I am getting all nostalgic and introspective! I still have to obtain some gifts for family members – AKA everyone has done their research and made demands, and reserved places in my luggage. I may even miss the crazy monkeys and kitty cats in the shower!

Check out the video Mekha and I made:

Ebone and Mekha in India

Ebone and Mekha in India

Mekhakhem Kheperu

This week in lab consisted of Ebone and I gathering the materials that our procedures dictated and starting to synthesize graphite oxide. Briefly put, we were to take natural flake graphite (a natural mineral made of carbon atoms layered in hexagonal honeycomb lattices) and oxygenate it. By doing this, using acids, we were able to make the graphite have what are called functional groups (special chemical combinations of atoms). For instance, graphite oxide has oxygen bonded to carbon atoms. By converting the mineral to a more oxygenated form, thus adding functional groups to the carbon atoms, it is easier to ‘dope’ the compound, to add other particles like iron to the functional groups, which are more reactive that just plain carbon atoms. So far, we’ve completed the conversion from natural flake graphite to graphite oxide, with the exception of cleaning and drying the product. Next, we have to dope the graphite oxide with iron. I’m looking forward to that part particularly because no one has done that before in this lab.

Ebone and Mekha with GSTEM Mentor Dr. Ravi in India

Ebone and Mekha with GSTEM Mentor Dr. Ravi

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