Student Research Projects

Investigation of Copper Runoff in Soil and Water Samples

Student Darren Driscoll, ‘14
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Chemistry
Course CHEM 489: Research in Natural Sciences


Acid rain has led to increased concentrations of heavy metals dissolving into soil and water systems underneath buildings and roadways. On the Virginia Wesleyan College campus, Clarke Hall uses copper siding on some of the extensions of the building. Soils and runoff sample were collected and tested with Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (FAAS). Preliminary results indicate that soil sample that are located near the copper siding in the front of Clarke Hall do have high copper concentrations of about 4ppm higher in concentration compared to other sections of the building.