• DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ADSORBENTS FOR THE REMOVAL OF EMERGING CONTAMINANTS FROM WATER AND WASTEWATER

      Suri, Rominder P. S.; Suri, Rominder P. S.; Zhang, Huichun (Judy); Van Aken, Benoit; Pleshko, Nancy (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      There are many reports indicating the presence of various emerging contaminants (ECs) in treated wastewater and other water sources. The detection of such contaminants in the environment and the ability of these contaminants to pose potential threats to the environment at very low concentrations have led to a need for more efficient treatment technologies. Cyclodextrins (CDs) have gained significant interest as an alternative adsorbent for water and wastewater treatment because of their unique physico-chemical characteristics and excellent selectivity towards organic compounds. The property of CD to form inclusion complexes with various molecules through host-guest interactions has made it a useful compound for the removal of a number of contaminants from water and wastewater. The overall goal of the study is to identify and develop a novel adsorbent for the removal of ECs of interest. The specific objectives are a) to synthesize various beta-cyclodextrin (BCD) based adsorbents by coating BCD onto different supports such as silica, filter paper, iron oxide, and zeolite, b) to perform batch and column experiments using the developed adsorbents, c) to evaluate the performance of the adsorbents in different water matrices such as MQ water, simulated wastewater in presence of humic acid, and real municipal wastewater, d) to study the regeneration potential of the adsorbents. In this research, various (BCD) based hybrid adsorbents were synthesized and their performances were evaluated based on the removal of selected ECs. At first, chemically bonded BCD onto silica particles as hybrid adsorbents were synthesized by using crosslinking agents and copolymers. Three different methods were used to synthesize 14 different BCD coated silica adsorbents. The adsorbent prepared by reacting BCD with hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) as crosslinking agent and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as solvent showed best results in removing the ECs studied. The adsorbent showed more than 95% removal of 17β-estradiol (in single component) and more than 90% of most of the estrogens (mixture of 12), more than 99% of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (in single component) and more than 90% of most of the PFCs (mixture of 10), and a maximum of 90% removal in case of BPA. The adsorption capacity of the developed adsorbent was observed to be higher for the removal of 17β-estradiol and PFOA than that of commercially available activated carbon (F400) in MQ water. In order to represent the real environmental scenario, further batch experiments were conducted for the removal of two PFCs (PFOA and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid)), 17β-estradiol, and BPA at environmentally relevant concentrations from wastewater. The adsorbent was effective in removing the ECs that were spiked in the secondary effluent of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Furthermore, the adsorbent was successfully regenerated with methanol over four cycles without significant loss in its adsorption capacity for the removal of PFOA and estrogens. Ozonation as an alternative method of regeneration was also used and the process was also very effective in regenerating the adsorbent over seven successive cycles for the removal of BPA and 17β-estradiol. The characterization of the adsorbents using FTIR, TGA, and TEM confirmed the coating of BCD onto silica particles. The TGA results showed high thermal stability of the adsorbent (upto 300oC). As an alternative to chemical impregnation, another method of synthesis was developed where various BCD based hybrid adsorbents were synthesized by physically impregnating hydroxypropyl BCD (hpBCD) polymer onto three different supports: iron oxides, zeolite, and filter paper. The hpBCD impregnated filter papers were synthesized by solvent evaporation method and different adsorbents were synthesized by varying the polymer loadings. The polymer loading was optimized based on the performance of the modified (polymer impregnated) filter paper in terms of its filtration capacity as well as adsorption capacity to remove PFOA and BPA. The magnetic adsorbent was prepared by mixing hpBCD polymer with iron oxide (Fe3O4) particles. It was observed that by increasing the mixing time of the support (Fe3O4) with the polymer from 48 to 96 hr, the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent (hpBCD polymer coated Fe3O4) could be significantly enhanced. The same approach was also used to synthesize hpBCD polymer coated zeolite adsorbent and both adsorbents (hpBCD/zeolite and hpBCD/Fe3O4) were effective in removing the selected ECs from MQ water, simulated water, and wastewater.