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Department of Chemistry
Dr. Niri’s primary research interests lie in the area of Analytical Chemistry. He is specifically interested in method development for analyzing environmental samples (water, air and soil) and biological samples (urine and blood) using different sampling and analytical techniques such as chromatographic and electranalytical methods.
During the last two decades, contamination of our environment has received more and more attention in almost every area of environmental quality-related concern, including public and occupational health, drinking water quality, indoor air quality, photochemical smog, ozone depletion, global climate change, and genesis of atmospheric acidity. It is not only important to protect our environment from contamination, but also to monitor the levels of contaminants to ensure that their concentration levels are lower than the maximum allowed levels. Since the maximum concentration levels for many contaminants are low, very sensitive analytical methods are required. The certified laboratories which deal with environmental samples are still relying on traditional solvent extraction techniques which are both hazardous and time and labor consuming. Therefore, the challenge in this area is developing fast, sensitive and solvent-free techniques for both sampling and analyzing contaminants in environmental samples including water, air and soil.
Developing highly sensitive and precise methods for determination of newly introduced drugs in pharmaceutical products and biological media is one of the challenges in all pharmaceutical companies and clinical laboratories. The analytical method is chosen based on the chemical properties of the drug compounds. While high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV, florescence or mass spectrometry is the common analytical technique for this purpose, electroanalytical techniques can also be used for the determination of the compounds with electrochemical activity properties. The ideal method should be applicable for analyzing the drugs in both pharmaceutical products and biological media, i.e. serum, plasma, urine, and whole blood.
Biofuels offer an attractive alternative to petroleum-based fuels. These fuels can be created from different sources including crop oils and biomasses. One of the challenges in biofuel studies is to customize analytical techniques for analyzing the products during the process. These techniques will allow us to identify and quantify reaction products during the process, construct a detailed mechanism and improve the quality of the fuel.