Date of Award

6-2019

Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

College

College of Engineering

Advisor

Rebekah Oulton

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering

Abstract

With a growing population and continuous accumulation of pollutants, water resources worldwide are quickly being depleted. Drastic improvements need to be made in both water conservation and treatment. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been developed to go above and beyond the capabilities of traditional wastewater treatment facilities to eliminate emerging contaminants from our water systems. AOPs increase the generation of hydroxyl radicals (•OH) in oxidation reactions, which are less selective and more reactive than other oxidants, such as ozone, so they are more effective at degrading persistent compounds. This study explored an AOP that utilizes ozonated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to generate •OH; past research has proven the success of this method of water treatment, showing a significant decrease in the effluent concentration of the tested compounds. However, these previous studies used a batch system with an initial aliquot of ozone, which would not be a feasible option in a commercial application. This research compares results from a semi-batch system with a continuous injection of ozone to these previous batch system studies to determine if continuous ozonation improves •OH generation capability, contaminant degradation, and the associated reaction kinetics. Results from batch studies had shown limitations to both •OH generation and contaminant degradation which were suspected to be due to ozone degradation; however, these results suggest that ozone availability is in fact not a limiting factor to •OH or contaminant degradation, and another mechanism must be at play. Further, to advance the AOP toward a commercially feasible design, a continuous flow-through system with a MWCNT embedded membrane was explored. The continuous system achieved 80% contaminant degradation in some cases, however, with varying retention times and efficiencies over time, the results were inconclusive and additional experimentation is required.

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