Who is part of Yachay Tech’s first class?
We spoke with Araceli Granja, a Chemistry major from Atuntaqui who works with silver nanoparticles in the synthesis of different compounds.
Araceli Granja travels a distance of more than 20 kilometers every day to get to Yachay Tech University. She lives in the city of Atuntaqui and she always heard about the development of this project in her province. That is why when she heard about the opening of places in the University, she decided to give Yachay Tech a try because it had created high expectations in her.
When she started her studies her academic expectations were exceeded by far. For Araceli, her 5-year path at Yachay University was shaped by close contact with her professors and the knowledge they have transmitted her. “They inspired my academic and professional development a lot, what I want to do after this” she says.
A part of her always knew that chemistry was her thing. She says she was always curious about colors and where they come from. In addition, one of her dreams has always been to have a cosmetics manufacturing company. All this pushed her towards her major and she thinks she couldn’t have made a better decision.
She is passionate about the field of materials, but also about the organic part of everything that surrounds her. For her thesis project, Araceli is synthesizing silver nanoparticles with extracts of garlic and cinnamon. This research project has already allowed her to participate in a congress and a research stay in Mexico. This project has been supervised by her tutor Floralba López, Ph.D., a professor from the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering.
The synthesis has several applications, the most frequent are related to the antibacterial effect of silver nanoparticles. Currently, there are several products on the market that contain nanoparticles for this purpose. However, Araceli is exploring another particularity of nanoparticles: their increased conductivity. They are doing it from the synthesis of a semiconductor polymer created in the laboratory, based on pectin, a compound extracted from orange peel.
After graduating, Araceli hopes to continue her studies, without ruling out the possibility of continuing her studies in the graduate programs that Yachay Tech will offer.