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15.04.2011 Regional News

UEW Lecturer Makes New Gas Discovery

By Emmanuel Bonney - Daily Graphic
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A Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Dr John Eminah, has discovered a new reaction that results in the production of hydrogen sulphide, a gas that can be used in senior high schools (SHS) and the universities during science practicals.

The gas, H2S, is a powerful reducing agent and can also be used to detect some metals during chemistry practicals.

According to Dr Eminah, he made the discovery after making a chance observation as he “heated concentrated sulphuric acid with powdered zinc”.

The reaction of interest, he said, was one of a series of tests he performed to determine the effect of hot concentrated sulphuric acid on some metals, adding that the results of the tests were to be included in a SHS chemistry practical book he was writing at the time.

“The discovery has been published in the September 2009 issue of School Science Review, a scientific journal published by the Association for Science Education which is based in the UK,” he said.

Dr Eminah said he balanced the chemical equation for using alphabetic coefficients, and that “the reaction is likely to be useful in chemical systems which require the generation of a powerful reducing agent”.

He said the enabling and challenging academic atmosphere in UEW caused him to pursue his initial chance observation to its logical conclusion in the Chemistry Laboratory of the university.

Meanwhile, the SHS chemistry practical book he wrote has been published by Masterman Publications Limited.

Dr Eminah, an old student of the Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS), hails from Apremdu in the Western Region. He majored in chemistry at the undergraduate level and holds a Master’s and doctorate degrees in science education.

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