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Todd Allen

Dr. Todd Allen

Associate Professor of Chemistry

(434) 592-6959
tmallen1@liberty.edu
Science Hall 244

Education

  • Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, University of California at Davis
  • B.S., Chemistry, Gordon College

 

Biography

Prior to joining Liberty, Dr. Allen worked in private industry for 15 years on a variety of projects including the development of sensors for chemical warfare agents, integration of sensor networks for homeland security threat detection, and the conversion of algae to biofuels for the Department of Defense.

He also developed covert and overt chemical markers and taggants for deterring fraud, counterfeiting, and product diversion and taught analytical chemistry at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Allen joined Liberty in order to use his expertise in chemistry combined with his faith in a way that would impact God's kingdom and to work in a place where he had the freedom to integrate God's Word into everyday learning.

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 107l - Essentials of General & Organic Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM 121/122 - General Chemistry I/II
  • CHEM 321 - Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 322 - Instrumental Analysis
  • CHEM 495 - Independent Research
  • BIOL 495 - Independent Research

Research

Algae can be grown to have a high protein and/or lipid content, which can be used for animal feed, biofuel, or both. Dr. Allen's group uses GC/MS/FID (Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometric Detection and Flame Ionization Detection) for quantifying the total lipid content in samples obtained from algae biofuels companies. Several companies are researching cost-effective ways to optimize algae growth and harvesting techniques in an effort to convert the lipid fraction of the algae biomass into various types of fuels. The ability to accurately determine the total lipid content of algae is essential to evaluating its fuel potential. The GC/MS/FID results, reported back to the algae company, can be used for improving the production and harvesting techniques.

This work provides students with hands-on, real-world, interdisciplinary training in both chemistry and biology, and provides them with valuable, transferable skills and knowledge that prepares them for employment, graduate research, or medical school. For example, (1) students will apply fundamental principles of nutrient limitation, stoichiometry, kinetics, and equilibrium learned in their chemistry and biology courses to the preparation and analysis of samples; (2) students will acquire valuable chemistry and biology research experience through literature searches, in sample/standard preparation techniques, in the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation, as well as in data analysis, interpretation, and reporting; and (3) students will learn how to effectively summarize and communicate scientific information.

Professional Membership

  • American Chemical Society
  • Virginia Academy of Science
  • Publications
    • Ketol, R; Kotiaho, T; Cisper, ME; and Allen, TM, "Environmental Applications of Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry", J. Mass Spectrom. 2002 V37 N5:457-476.
    • Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; Hemberger, PH; and Wilkerson, CW., Simultaneous Real-time Detection of VOCs, SVOCs, and Organometallic Compounds in Both Air and Water Matrices using Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry. Invited publication honoring R.G. Cooks, Int'l. J. Mass Spectrom., 201, V212, N1-3:197-204. 
    • Allen, TM; Falconer, TM; Cisper, ME; and Wilkerson, CW. Real-time Analysis of Methanol in Air and Water by Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem. 2001 V73, N20:4830-4835. 
    • Johnson, RC; Cooks, RG; Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; and Hemberger, PH. Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry: Trends and Applications. Mass Spec. Rev., 2000, V19, N1:1-37.
    • Allen, TM; Cisper, ME; Wilkerson, CW; and Hemberger PH. Real-Time Broad Spectrum Characterization of Waste by Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry: Preliminary Results. Waste Management Conference Proceedings, Abstract #820, Tucson, Arizona, Feb. 28-Mar. 4, 1999.
    • Bezabeh, DZ; Allen, TM; McCauley, EM; Kelly, PB; and Jones, AD. Negative Ion Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry of Nitrated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spec., Jun. 1997, V8N6:630-636.
    • Allen, TM; Bezabeh, DZ; Smith, CH; McCauley, EM; Kennedy, IM; Chang, DPY; Jones, AD, and Kelly, PB. Speciation of Arsenic Oxides Using Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass.
    • Gill, CG; Allen, TM; Anderson, JE; Taylor, TN; Kelly, PB; and Nogar, NS. Low-Powder Resonant Laser Ablation of Cooper. Appl. Opt., Apr. 20, 1996. V35 N12:2069-2082. 
    • Allen, TM; Anderson, JE; Taylor, TN; Kelly, PB; and Nogar, NS. Depth Profiling of Copper Thin Films by Resonant Laser Ablation. Appl. Phys. A., 1995, V61, N2:221-225.
  • Patent
    • Spall, WD; Allen, TM; Goeller, R; and Kottenstette, P., Combination Marker for Liquids and Identification Methods Thereof. Patent Number US2005019939, Publication Date Jan. 27, 2005.
  • Presentations
    • McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, May 22, 2015.
    • McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation (Best Poster Award) at the 4th Annual LU Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lynchburg, VA, Apr. 11, 2015.
    • McClure, GA; Allen, SM; Ponseti, RJ; Sisco, BD; Carney, BW; Lonjin, T; and Allen, TM. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry of Algae: The Fuel of Our Future.  Poster presentation (Best Poster Award) at the 671st Virginia Blue Ridge Section Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Apr. 8, 2015.
    • Allen, TM. Algae to Biofuel: “Oil Systems Go”. Invited oral presentation at the 666th Virginia Blue Ridge Section Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Oct. 23, 2014.
    • Allen, TM; Gogg, TJ; and Rucker, JM. Improving Accuracy of CB Sensor Networks by Analyzing Spectral Data. Chemical and Biological Defense Conference, New Orleans, LA, Nov. 17-21, 2008.
    • Allen, TM; Ha, JS; Crowley, TA; and Haupt, SG. Multiple Sensor Technologies and Data Fusion for False Alarm Reduction. Invited Oral presentation at the 4th SISPAT, Singapore, Dec. 7, 2004.
    • Allen, TM. Natural Chem Bio Tags. Invited Oral presentation at the National Academy of Sciences study on Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community, Washington D.C., Oct. 27, 2003.

 

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