USC Salkehatchie graduate Chris Rufty was awarded the SC STEPs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program) to STEM summer internship scholarship to conduct research under the mentorship of Dr. Li Cai.
Rufty’s summer project focuses on the improvement of the classic acetylation reaction in carbohydrate (sugar) chemistry. He and Dr. Cai are working to develop a safe, low-cost, high-yield and environmentally friendly reaction system promoted by molecular sieves.
In the spring 2012 semester, Rufty presented at the S.C. Academy of Science’s annual meeting on April 14 at the University of South Carolina Aiken. The project involved low-cost conversion of waste aluminum cans into useful potassium alum (KAl(SO4)4∙12H2O) which is commonly used in water purification, leather tanning, fireproof textiles, baking powder, etc.
Rufty will be transferring to USC Columbia this fall.