Professor Boyd received his B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Wayland Baptist University in 1997, and completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at Rice University in 2001. After nine years on the faculty at his alma mater, Dr. Boyd joined the chemistry faculty at Gordon College in 2010. At Gordon, Dr. Boyd teaches Principles of Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. His current research interests involve the development of materials for photocatalytic purification and sterilization of water.
Undergraduate Research Group
The Boyd research group is investigating applications of titania (TiO2) photocatalysis to purify and sterilize water. Simply put, ultraviolet light activates the photocatalyst, which in turn drives oxidation-reduction reactions that purify water in contact with the photocatalyst.
In the past five years, undergraduates from the Boyd research group have published five peer-reviewed scientific journal articles (see list below), one invited book chapter, and even received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Boyd group members have also presented their research at conferences across the country, most recently at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego. Students in the Boyd group are encouraged and enabled to work all the way through the process of DOING science—from the experiment design to public presentation. The success of the group is driven by the energy and ability of the undergraduate students who do the work.
Whether it be excess nitrogen in the Gulf of Mexico, or contaminated drinking water around the world, water quality is an important international issue that is receiving significant attention from scientists and engineers. In fact, when the National Academy of Engineering released its list of "14 Grand Challenges for the 21st Century," two of the items on that list were to "manage the nitrogen cycle" and "provide access to clean water." Clearly these issues are of high importance. The Boyd research group has applied titania photocatalysis to removal of ammonia and nitrates (both nitrogen-containing chemicals), as well as bacteria, from water.
If you are interested in helping to find solutions to these difficult problems, contact Dr. Boyd to learn more about the opportunities for undergraduate research at Gordon College.
Publications and Patents by Students in the Boyd Research Group
Jonathan M. Carey, Tonia M. Perez, Elida G. Arsiaga, Luke H. Loetscher, and Joel E. Boyd. Water Science & Technology, 63, 1130–1136 (2011). “The Photocatalytic Enhancement of Acrylic and PET Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Bottles.”
Joel E. Boyd, Lori A. Pretzer, Philip J. Carlson and Stephanie L. Skiles. Invited book chapter published in Handbook of Photocatalysts: Preparation, Structure and Applications. Nova Science Publishers. Geri K. Castello ed. “Metal Oxide Deposition Strategies for Photocatalytic Water Purification.” pp. 323–340.
Leah H. Quisenberry, Luke H. Loetscher, and Joel E. Boyd. Catalysis Communications, 10, 1417–1422 (2009). “Catalytic Inactivation of Bacteria Using Pd-modified Titania.”
Luke H. Loetscher, Jonathan M. Carey, Stephanie L. Skiles, Vanessa M. Carey, and Joel E. Boyd. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 48, 4697–4702 (2009). “Titania-Acrylic Coil Reactor for Photocatalytic Water Purification and Sterilization.”
Lori A. Pretzer, Philip J. Carlson, and Joel E. Boyd. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 200, 246–253 (2008). “The Effect of Pt Oxidation State and Concentration on the Photocatalytic Removal of Aqueous Ammonia with Pt-modified Titania.”
Philip J. Carlson, Lori A. Pretzer, and Joel E. Boyd. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 46, 7970–7976 (2007). “Solvent Deposition of Titanium Dioxide on Acrylic for Photocatalytic Application.”
Joel E. Boyd, Philip J. Carlson, and Lori A. Pretzer; “Composite Catalytic Material and Process for Manufacture of Such Material”; US Patent No. 7,858,552. December 28, 2010.