Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)
David M. Ford
Second Committee Member
Chris S. Griggs
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Jamie A. Hestekin
Carbon-based Composites, Carbon-based Membranes, Membrane Stability, Water Treatment
Carbonaceous materials such as graphene oxide, and activated carbon have a wide range of applications in water and wastewater treatment due to the high surface area, unique structure, and chemical and thermal stability. Carbon-based materials can be used as a membrane, an adsorbent, a support for nanomaterials, or as a filler within membranes to remove contaminants from water. In this research, the specific carbon materials and how their properties influence their use and performance in specific engineering applications is explored.
Here, membrane filtration and adsorption/degradation of the water and wastewater using carbon-based material are investigated. The research firstly focuses on mixed-matrix polymeric membranes containing chitosan as the matrix and graphene oxide as an additive to improve the properties of the membranes. Two different sizes of graphene oxide particles were added to a chitosan matrix to improve the properties of a water filtration membrane. The effect of graphene oxide particle size on the morphology, structure, chemical composition, and water filtration performance was investigated.
In addition, FeNi nanoparticle-carbon composite materials are studied as a reactive treatment for in situ groundwater remediation. The research includes the development of a specific synthesis process for nickel-doped nanoscale zero valent iron (Ni-NZVI) immobilization onto the carbon support. Then the new method was applied to make nanoparticle-carbon composites with five different carbon types. A variety of characterization were used to understand the relationship between carbon properties and trichloroethylene (TCE) removal. The carbons only and the composites were tested for TCE removal. The results suggested that the mechanism of TCE removal by carbons is adsorption and is highly related to the carbon properties of surface area, micro-pore volume, and functional groups on the surface. However, the mechanism of TCE removal by composites was confirmed as a combination of adsorption and degradation. The carbon properties did not affect TCE removal significantly when the carbon was used as a support for the reactive nanoparticles (NPs). In addition, the effect of the Ni and carbon ratio on TCE removal and Ni leaching was investigated. The Ni leaching was successfully decreased by using composites with lower Ni:Fe ratios and higher carbon:Fe ratios.
Abolhassani, Mojtaba, "Engineered Carbon-Nanocatalyst Composites and Carbon Mixed Matrix Membranes for Water and Wastewater Treatment " (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 3392.
Available for download on Sunday, August 08, 2021