TTU PhD Student Researches Opioids in Wastewater

Faranak Mahmoudi is an Environmental Sciences-Chemistry PhD student studying the detection and measurement of opioid compounds in urban wastewater and surface water. The rate of consumption of opioid painkillers in Tennessee is higher than the national average, so there is an urgent need for research in this area. By determining the concentration of opioid compounds in untreated wastewater, it is possible to back-calculate the measurements to accurately quantify the intake of drugs by the local population. Faranak is using multiple analytical approaches in the lab to determine the molecular structure of the opioids in solution. Faranak recently presented her work at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) national meeting in Philadelphia as well as at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the ACS in Columbia, South Carolina.