Synthesis of Nanotemplated, Glucose-Derived Adsorbents for the Removal of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants from Water

Luis Alfonso Barrera, University of Texas at El Paso


With an ever-present rise in population, along with an increase in industrial and manufacturing plants, contamination of potable water has become a global concern. While water treatment facilities exist which can help with the purification of water from bacterial and organic contaminants, these facilities are expensive to set in place and maintain. Therefore, in impoverished areas, point of use (POU) purification systems are often preferred, such as filters made from activated carbon. These filters are inexpensive and relatively easy to install and use. However, while activated carbons generally display excellent adsorption capabilities towards organic contaminants, their adsorption towards inorganic pollutants is limited. Moreover, most research towards their production generally utilizes large polymers, such as lignocellulosic material, along with metal salts for their activation. The use of smaller monomeric carbon sources has seldom been explored. We proposed the use of a smaller carbon source, glucose, as well as the utilization of zinc oxide nanoparticles for the synthesis of these carbon adsorbents. By utilizing this method we developed four adsorbent materials, including a high surface area adsorbent (1228 m2/g) which showed great adsorption capacities towards organic contaminants, as well as a photoactive adsorbent which demonstrated catalytic degradation capabilities towards methylene blue, ofloxacin and tetracycline. In addition, we expanded upon the adsorptive properties of these carbon-based materials by incorporating further functionalization, developing an adsorbent with magnetic properties which showed promise towards the adsorption of Pb(II), As(III) and As(V) (Qe: 5.57, 7.86 and 4.48 mg/g, respectively), as well as an adsorbent functionalized with sulfur for the adsorption of inorganic contaminants (Ba (Qe 8.65 mg/g) and As(III) (Qe 2.66 mg/g)).

Subject Area

Inorganic chemistry|Sustainability|Organic chemistry|Water Resources Management|Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Barrera, Luis Alfonso, "Synthesis of Nanotemplated, Glucose-Derived Adsorbents for the Removal of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants from Water" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28088434.