Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Pollution/Toxic Substances/Waste
Luis Laracuente - University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Co-Author(s): Amarillys Avilés, Gerardo Nazario, Jonathan Ambrose, Pedro Tarafa, and O. Marcelo Suárez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR
Agriculture activities are a source of water pollution by the excessive use of toxic chemicals such as herbicides to control weeds. Most of these chemicals are driven away by surface and subsurface runoffs causing contamination of surface water, principal resource of drinking water. The main goal of this research was to study the feasibility of fabricating porous glass sheets embedded with photo-catalytic TiO2 nanopartiples for the degradation of atrazine, a common herbicide. The glass sheet was fabricated by sintering recycled glass (MG-30) between 950ºC to 975ºC for 45 to 75 minutes. The TiO2 was deposited in the surface of the recycled glass sheet by a sedimentation process and calcined to achieve the immobilization of the nanoparticles. Immobilization of the TiO2 was studied with two different solvents, temperature and time of calcination. X-ray diffraction analysis determined the TiO2 polymorph in the TiO2-glass sintered glass sheet. Kinetic study determined the viability of atrazine degradation and high performance liquid chromatography analysis is being used to evaluate its degradation rate. Preliminary results demonstrate better immobilization using acetic acid solvent at low temperature and long exposition of time in calcination process. Furthermore, the X-ray diffraction analysis confirmed an anatase phase of the TiO2 nanoparticles after heat exposition. Viability study showed low degradation rate of target contaminant when the TiO2 is immobilized to the glass sheet. Ongoing experiments study the improvement of degradation of atrazine in photoactivated TiO2 immobilized onto the porous MG-30 glass substrate. The latter will be key in the viability and further implementation of this technology for surface water pollution.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1345156 (CREST Program).
Faculty Advisor: O Marcelo Suarez,