Todd Mlsna

Image of Todd Mlsna

Todd Mlsna

Associate Professor

B.S. Albion College, 1985
Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin 1991

Email

Hand Lab 2239

(662) 325-6744

Website CV

Research Interests

The focus of our work is the development of specialty modified biochar adsorbents for the treatment of contaminated water and the amendment of soils depleted from years of intensive farming. Our entirely green material begins as a byproduct of the thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuel. It is a promising, cost effective adsorbent for water and wastewater purification. Our recent studies show that our biochars can be used to remove nutrients from water. Thus, the materials that we develop could be used to aid in the elimination of agriculture industry induced dead-zones in the United States. Once used, the nutrient laden biochar has potential as a soil amendment.

Biochar

Biochar (Figure 1) is produced as a byproduct during thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuel by fast pyrolysis to bio-oil and gasification to syngas. It is a promising, high surface area, low cost adsorbent for water and wastewater purification. Biochar is known to be effective for absorbing both organic and inorganic pollutants from aqueous solution. Biochar is a general term that can be applied to a host of materials made under a range of conditions.  The sum of our extensive research now confirms that biochar can be used for energy conversion, carbon sequestration, improving soil fertility, and enhancing water quality via adsorption.

scientific image

Water Purification

Pollution of wastewater by pharmaceuticals and their byproducts is a growing environmental concern.  These compounds find their way into the environment through industrial and municipal wastewater and can be a risk to the environment as well as human health. Typically, adsorbents are used in columns through which the contaminated water flows. A more novel adsorption method for wastewater remediation is the use of magnetic biochar, which can be used in stirred tanks and removed with a magnet.  Magnetic separation avoids more time consuming steps like centrifugation and filtration. As adsorbent particle size decreases, filtration or flow through columns becomes very slow. Thus magnetic separation could allow practical use of small particle size adsorbents which have high surface areas and faster kinetics.

Soil Amendments

WP_20160104_001.jpgAnother aim of our work is the development of specialty modified biochar adsorbents for amendment of soils depleted from years of intensive farming. Our biochar begins as a byproduct of the thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuel. Our recent studies show that our biochars can be used to remove nutrients from water. Thus, if successful, our products could be used to aid in the elimination of agriculture industry induced dead-zones in the United States. Once used, the nutrient laden biochar has potential as a soil amendment (Figure 3).

Positions Open

We are always looking for quality graduate and undergraduate researchers to join our research team.

Publications

  1. “Materials for capacitive carbon dioxide microsensors capable of operating at ambient temperatures,” Patel SV, Hobson ST, Cemalovic S, Mlsna TE*. Journal of sol-gel science and technology. 2010;53(3):673-9. Impact factor 1.547.
  2. “Novel extraction of volatile biomarkers from canine breath for gas chromatography–mass spectrometry,” Dissanayake S, Lathan P, Mlsna T*. Journal of Breath Research. 2012;6(4):041001. Impact factor 3.590.
  3. “Liquid-Vapor Equilibrium of a Binary Solution and Gas Chromatography: An Experiment for General Chemistry Laboratory,” Bidhya Kunwar, Deb Mlsna, Shawna Tazik and Todd Mlsna*, Chemical Educator 18, 61-65, 2013. Impact factor n/a.
  4. "A Lateral Field Excited Acoustic Wave Peroxide Based Explosive Sensor," Duy, Walter D., Brian E. Hackett, Sara Nadeau, Sasha Alcott, Todd Eric Mlsna, David J. Neivandt, and John F. Vetelino*. Sensors Journal, IEEE, vol.13, no.12, pp.4780-4785, Dec. 2013. Impact factor 2.457.
  5. “A Simple Portable Gas Chromatograph for the Monitoring of Biomass Gasification,” Kunwar B, Wijaylapala H, Thieme J, Patel SV, Mlsna TE*. Journal of Sensors and Instruments. 2013;1:1-16. Impact factor n/a.
  6. "Analysis of Estrogens in Wastewater Using Solid-Phase Extraction, QuEChERS Cleanup, and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry," Gunatilake, Sameera R., Shelby Craver, Jeong-Wook Kwon, Kang Xia, Kevin Armbrust, Jose M. Rodriguez, and Todd E. Mlsna*. Journal of AOAC International 96, no. 6 (2013): 1440-1447. Impact factor 1.385.
  7. "Rule Based Regression and Feature Selection for Biological Data", Sheng Liu, Shamitha Dissanayake, Sanjay Patel, Xin Dang, Todd Mlsna, Yixin Chen*, and Dawn Wilkins*, BMC Systems Biology (2014). Impact factor 2.85.
  8. "Monitoring MVOC Profiles over Time from Isolates of Aspergillus flavus Using SPME GC-MS," Sun, Dongdi, Alicia Wood-Jones, Wenshuang Wang, Chris Vanlangenberg, David Jones, Julie Gower, Patrice Simmons, Richard E. Baird, and Todd E. Mlsna*. Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment (JACEN) Vol.3 No.2, May 20, (2014). Impact factor 0.13.
  9. “K-promoted Mo/Co- and Mo/Ni-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbons with and without a Cu water gas shift catalyst”, Rangana Wijayapala, Charles Pittman, Fei Yu and Todd Mlsna*, Applied Catalysis A: General 480 (2014): 93-99. Impact factor 3.674.
  10. “Analysis of Trace Dicyandiamide in Water using Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography UV Spectrometry,” Huidong Qiu, Dongdi Sun, Sameera R Gunatilake, Jinyan She, Christoph Matthaei, Todd E Mlsna*, has been accepted for publication in Asian Journal of Chemistry, Volume 26 (2014). Impact factor 0.355.
  11. “Detection of Dicyandiamide in Environmental Water by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Combined with Solid Phase Extraction,” Huidong Qiu, Dongdi Sun & Todd Mlsna*, Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies, just-accepted, (2014). Impact factor n/a.
  12. “Determination of five estrogens in wastewater using a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatograph,” Sameera R. Gunatilake, Taylor L. Clark, Jose M. Rodriguez, Todd E. Mlsna*, Analytical Methods, 6(15) 5652-5658, (2014). Impact factor 1.938.
  13. “Conducting Absorbent Composites for Parallel Plate Chemicapacitive Microsensors with Improved Selectivity,” Shamitha Dissanayake; Christopher Vanlangenberg; Brady Biggers; Laquinta Aaron; Hannah Harrell; Sanjay V Patel; Todd Mlsna*, Sensors and Actuators: B. Chemical, accepted for publication (2014). Impact factor: 4.101. Manuscript number SNB-D-14-01253R1.
  14. “A novel approach to determine estrogenic hormones in swine lagoon wastewater using QuEChERS method combined with solid phase extraction and LC/MS/MS analysis,” Sameera R. Gunatilake, Jeong-Wook Kwon, Todd E. Mlsna* and Kang Xia*, Analytical Methods, accepted for publication (2014). Manuscript ID AY-ART-07-2014-001804. Impact factor 1.938.
  15. “Ecologically Important Human Scent Discovery via Active SPME GCMS,” Shamitha Dissanayake, Christopher Vanlangenberg, Glenn Crisler, Bronson Strickland, Steve Demarais, Todd Mlsna*, Journal of Chemical Ecology, submitted - under review (2014). Manuscript number JOCE-D-14-00163, Impact factor 2.239.
  16. “Selection of Sorbent Polymers for Chemicapacitive Detectors in Gas Chromatography,” W. K. Tolley*, Todd Mlsna and Sanjay V. Patel, Sensors and Actuators: B. Chemical, submitted - under review (2014). Manuscript Number SNB-D-14-02273, Impact factor: 4.101.
  17. “Sorptive removal of salicylic acid and ibuprofen from aqueous solution using pine wood fast pyrolysis biochar,” Matthew Essandoh, Bidhya Kunwar, Charles U. Pittman Jr., Dinesh Mohan, Todd Mlsna* Chemical Engineering Journal, submitted - under review (2014). Manuscript Number: CEJ-D-14-04412, Impact factor: 4.058.
  18. “Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of bio oil model compounds with synthesis gas using a WGS and Mo/Co/K catalyst system,” Rangana Wijayapala, Damion Proctor, Charles Pittman Jr., and Todd Mlsna*, Green Chemistry, to be submitted (2014). Impact factor: 6.852.

Book Chapters

  1. T.E. Mlsna, S.V. Patel, and J. Fraden, “Chemical Sensors,” Chapter 17 in Handbook of Modern Sensors, 4th edition, by Jacob Fraden, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC., New York, 2010. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-6466-3 ISBN: 978-1-4419-6465-6. Citations – 4.

Extended Conference Proceedings

  1. “Field detection and quantification of volatile organic compounds,” Hobson ST, Cemalovic S, Mlsna D, Mlsna TE, Patel SV, Thieme J, et al., editors. Abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society; 2009.
  2. “Chemicapacitive sensor array: Application as GC detector,” Hobson ST, Mlsna D, Mlsna TE, Steele S, Thibadeaux A, Thieme J, et al., editors. ANYL 232- Abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society; 2009.
  3. “Detection of peroxide based explosives utilizing a lateral field excited acoustic wave sensor,” Duy WD, Hackett BE, Alcott S, Mlsna TE, Vetelino JF, Neivandt D, editors. Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), 2010 IEEE; 2010: IEEE.
  4. “Upgrading Bio-Oil with a Combination of Synthesis Gas and Alcohol,” Bidhya Kunwar and Todd Mlsna, Prepr. Pap.-Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Energy Fuels 2013, 58 (1).
  5. “Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of Guaiacol and Furfural using a WGS and Mo/Co/K catalyst system,” Rangana Wijayapala and, Todd Mlsna, Prepr. Pap.-Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Energy Fuels 2013, 58 (1).
  6. “K-promoted Mo/Co- and Mo/Ni-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbons with and without a Cu water gas shift catalyst,” Rangana Wijayapala, Fei Yu, Charles U. Pittman, Jr., Todd E. Mlsna, ACS 247th National Meeting, Dallas, TX (March, 2014).
  7. “Dual Cu based water gas and ZSM-5 supported iron catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch production,” Akila G Karunanayake, Rangana T Wijayapala, Huidong Qiu, Todd E Mlsna, ACS 247th National Meeting, Dallas, TX (March, 2014).

Patents

  1. “Upgrading Bio-Oil with Synthesis Gas,” Todd Mlsna, Phillip Steele, Fei Yu, Patent Application, US 20140073827 A1, 2013. Citations – 0.

Lab Manual

  1. Deb Mlsna, Jack Randall, William Tolley and Todd Mlsna, ‘Gas Chromatography Investigations with the Mini GC’ – User Manual for the Vernier Mini Gas Chromatograph, 2009.

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