Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Materials Science
Douglas J Austin Jr. - Delaware State University
As a way to safeguard the future water supplies for the next generation, the purification of water bodies is paramount in science today. Water bodies in and around Delaware as reported by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources are contaminated with heavy metals including lead(II), arsenic(III), copper(II), and zinc(II). In this study, hemp waste after defatting and invasive phragmite grass will be used to create porous carbons to purify waters of the heavy metals. One of the goals of this research is to repurpose waste materials and unwanted invasive plant species to aid in protecting water bodies in Delaware. For the research, the hemp waste and invasive phragmite grass will be ground into powder and then processed into activated carbons under an inert atmosphere. These carbon materials will be tested using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analyzer to detect the specific surface areas and pore size distributions. X-ray diffraction will be used to examine crystallinity of the products, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy will be used to determine the concentrations of heavy metals before and after the activated carbon is used for the water purification. This research aims to adsorb heavy metals from water by using the activated carbon products made from natural abundant precursors and reduce metal concentration below the regulated concentrations as mandated by state and federal regulatory bodies (mercury 2 ppb, lead 15 ppb, arsenic 10 ppb, and cadmium 5 ppb). Future work includes expanding the research to other toxic metals and grafting functional groups onto carbon to increase the selectivity and adsorption capacity.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funder Acknowledgement: I would like to thank thank Dr. Mazen Shahin and the NSF Bridge to Doctorate Program
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yanfeng Yue, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Collect hemp waste and invasive phragmite grass. Learn ICPMS and will conduct the rest of the research under the guidance of my advisor