Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Juan C. Noveron


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)).




Received from ProQuest

File Size

100 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Luis Alfonso Barrera

Included in

Chemistry Commons