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Education and Outreach Programs

Glenbard South High School ESRP 2020

Study of Iron Oxidation State Change of Spinach in the Human Body Using X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy


  • Students:
    • James DiCarlo
    • Gustavo Fonseca
    • Shawn Malik
    • Tyler Meeks
    • Ethan Mesina
    • Mira Murthy
    • Michaela Reif
    • Thaddeus Scharf
    • Thandia Sungvornyothin
  • Teachers:
    • Amanda Raymond
    • Collin Voigt
  • Mentors:
    • Tianpin Wu (Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, XSD-SPC)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 9: Spectroscopy Group; Advanced Photon Source Sector 20: Spectroscopy/PNC

The purpose of this experiment is to examine the change in oxidation state of the iron contained in pure spinach powder as it is subjected to a variety of environments. Environmental conditions that would be altered and tested would include acidity and heat. By manipulating these conditions, we can better understand how the human body optimizes iron absorption (by introducing ingested iron to a variety of conditions in order to induce oxidation state change for purposes of absorption), and the effectiveness of concentrated spinach powders as an iron supplement.

*Note – This school group was unable to complete their project due to the COVID-19 pandemic.