Events & Media


A PhD Dissertation Defense

"Novel Magnetic Nanoparticle Adsorbents for Organic and Inorganic Contaminants"

Yuxiong Huang
PhD Candidate
Bren School

Friday, November 20, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Bren Hall 1510

Faculty Advisor: Arturo Keller
Committee Members: Patricia Holden, Susannah Scott

Water is not only a resource, but a life source. However, water pollution is one of the most challenging global issues that seriously threatens people's lives and sustainable development. With the continued concern over the presence of naturally occurring and anthropogenic organic and inorganic contaminants in the aquatic environment, there is a growing need for the implementation of innovative treatment methods for the elimination of these contaminants from natural waters and wastewater effluents.

In this doctoral research, four different novel magnetic-core composite nanoparticle sorbents were developed for organic and metal contaminant remediation in aquatic systems. These sorbents have a core-shell structure with a magnetite core and a silica porous layer that permanently confines surfactant micelles (namely Mag-PCMAs that target organic contaminants removal) or are functionalized with metal-binding organic ligands (namely Mag-Ligands that target metal contaminants removal). The physicochemical properties of these magnetic nanoparticle sorbents were fully characterized. The removal efficiencies of organic contaminants such as PAHs, emerging organic contaminants (EOCs, including pharmaceuticals, industrial additives) onto Mag-PCMAs and metal contaminants such as cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium and etc. onto Mag-Ligand were evaluated across a wide range of environmental conditions (e.g. pH, water hardness). The ability to regenerate and reuse these magnetic nanoparticle sorbents was also studied. This study has provided a rapid, effective, and more sustainable approach for organic and metal contaminants remediation from aquatic systems.


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