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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Gilbertson, John D.

Second Advisor

Scheuermann, Margaret Louise

Third Advisor

Vyvyan, James R.


Increasing human population is driving the need to produce increasing amounts of food without the ability to dramatically increase farmland area. This has been accomplished by the application of increasing amounts of nitrogen containing fertilizers onto croplands. Nitrogen fertilizer overuse is causing imbalance in the natural nitrogen cycle via excessive amounts of high oxidation-state nitrogen entering both the atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems, which are major contributors to global warming and environmental damage. There is a need to explore synthetic systems which are capable of the reduction of these pollutants through pathways such as denitrification. This thesis will explore the functionalization of a dinuclear dinitrosyl iron complex which is capable of coupling nitrosyl to release nitric oxide. The activity of this system is explored through examination of mono-nuclear dinitrosyl complexes as well as modification of the secondary-sphere ligand interactions which allow control of nitrous oxide evolution from a dinuclear dinitrosyl complex. The complete denitrification of nitrate by divalent samarium in a “single pot” is presented, which represents one of few synthetic systems that are capable of such reactivity. Preliminary results on nitrate binding and activating iron complexes based on the pyridinediimine ligand scaffold with tunable secondary-sphere interactions are introduced.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Nitrogen fertilizers--Environmental aspects; Denitrification; Pollution prevention




masters theses




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