Student Research Spotlight - Diego Gomez-Maldonado
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Major: Doctorate in forestry
College: School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Class year: 2021
Faculty mentor: Maria Soledad Peresin
Development of bio-based systems as pollutants removal for water remediation
What are you researching?
My research is focused on looking for different ways to use cellulose and other natural polymers and turn them into added-value products by mainly using green processes. The primary application that we are currently looking for is creating bio-based adsorbents to improve water quality by removing pollutants..
How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
The shift to green materials and green processes are one of the main pathways to achieve the global sustainability goals. This has become a very popular goal in both the private and the public sectors. Even more, we can increase the utilization of biomass that is traditionally waste, or comes with low profitability, to manufacture value-added products. Additionally, there is an increasing demand for obtaining clean water at low costs with minimum generation of byproducts and residues.
Tell us why you enjoy research.
I believe that minimizing waste and residues is something that we all can do in our day-to-day life. My research allows me to maximize the utilization of biomass by generating materials with a lesser environmental impact. Particularly with this particular goal of improving water quality, my research contributes to enhancing the earth’s wellbeing, while increasing the quality of life for all of us.
What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
Any project is just a small part of all you will do, so enjoy doing it, learn as much as you can, be flexible on your ideas and try to imagine where else could you use what you are learning. But above these, choose projects that will make you feel good when they are done, either by helping achieve your personal goals or, mainly, having the potential to help your society and surroundings. To see the impact of our research translated to our environment is probably the most rewarding feeling of all.
Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
One of my favorite things to do is go hiking and have picnics with my friends, as well as reading a nice book by the lake or pool. But the activity that really relaxes me is to workout either at the gym or running at parks.