Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mathew J. Nee (Director), Quentin Lineberry, Bangbo Yan

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


Conventional waste water treatment processes are not completely effective in removing highly stable organic compounds. Photocatalytic degradation on titanium dioxide is a possible alternative technique for many classes of these compounds. Several studies have been done by other researchers to study mechanisms of photocatalytic degradation, which occurs either through direct oxidation by holes or via indirect oxidation by radical messengers. Titanium dioxide can oxidize substrates directly through hole oxidation mechanisms or indirectly through free radical mechanisms. Substrates must bind onto the catalyst surface to undergo direct oxidation by holes. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed on four different classes of compounds; iodinated contrast agents (iohexol and diatrizoate), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (perylene and pyrene), the antibacterial agent triclosan and the pesticide atrazine, to investigate which of the compounds are adsorbed on the surface of titanium dioxide to undergo direct oxidation through electron holes. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was conducted on triclosan and atrazine to determine if the desorption reaction is endothermic or exothermic. Powder X-ray diffraction was performed on all four classes of compounds to observe diffraction pattern of these compounds.


Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry | Environmental Chemistry | Organic Chemistry