Publication Date

8-2012

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Cathleen Webb (Director), Dr. Kevin Williams, Dr. Bangbo Yan

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science

Abstract

Elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals like copper, aluminum, zinc, and selenium in drinking water are found to have deleterious effects on human health. Hence, finding methods for reducing their levels is critical. Iron-coated limestone is used as an adsorption material for the removal of heavy metals from drinking water. Removal of heavy metals by native or uncoated limestone was also observed and used for comparison to and evaluation of the improvement in removal efficiency from the ironcoated material. The removal efficiency with limestone was studied for different concentrations of heavy metals. Kinetic studies were done to determine the decrease in heavy metal concentration as a function of time using limestone. Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy was used for metal analysis. The effective removal rate of copper and aluminum was found to be four hours and one hour, respectively. This method of removal by using limestone is cost effective, eco-friendly, and hence, of great potential importance for heavy metal removal.

Iron-coated limestone is used as an adsorption material for the removal of heavy metals from drinking water. This project will investigate techniques to improve removal efficiency of heavy metals using limestone-based material through adsorption. This research will assist in the development of a granular adsorbent product that will remove metals and that can be manufactured and sold for use at the drinking water source, at point-of-use, or at point-of-entry. Limestone is readily available and its use for metals removal is relatively inexpensive. The technology can be adapted to small, rural water supply systems. Benefits of this research will include a low-cost treatment technology for source reduction that will reduce select metals to below drinking water standards.

Disciplines

Environmental Chemistry | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment