Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


College of Engineering


Rebekah Oulton

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


This study explores the efficacy of two advanced oxidation processes for generation of hydroxyl radicals to promote degradation of emerging contaminants. Drought and water shortage have become pressing issues caused by our world’s changing climate. Water reclamation and reuse are increasingly important options for relieving this water stress. Water reuse runs the risk of reintroducing recalcitrant compounds that can accumulate in our bodies and environment. Advanced treatment methods that degrade these compounds are vital to protect our health and the health of the environment while providing necessary water resources. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have shown great promise for removing recalcitrant compounds through the production of highly reactive hydroxyl radicals (·OH). This study investigated two AOPs for their production of ·OH as indicated by the probe compound pCBA. One of the AOPs examined was a proprietary device that utilizes ambient air and UV to generate singlet oxygen, which subsequently produces ·OH in water. The other is a more common method that combines UV and ozone (O3) to produce ·OH. The proprietary method was not found to produce notable hydroxyl radicals compared to the UV/O3 AOP. The UV dose of the UV/O3 AOP was also altered to analyze the impact on hydroxyl radical production and removal of a representative emerging contaminant, diclofenac (DCF). The sleeves made to alter the UV dose were not found to change the UV dose enough to show a consequential difference in degradation for the fluence indicator atrazine (ATZ) or the emerging contaminant DCF. Further testing with thicker sleeves would be important to determine the necessary amounts of UV and reasonably scale this technology for a water treatment facility.