Removal of Water Contaminants Using Nanotechnology

Z. Yu, Z. Li
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona,
United States

Keywords: nanotechnology, photocatalysis, water


Propanil, Diuron, Simazine, and Metolachlor are widely used as herbicides and pesticides in California agriculture and across the U.S., and are considered to pose a significant threat to water contamination by transporting chemicals into surface and ground water. As such, the removal of these water contaminants is critical to ensuring a high quality of water is available for California water resources and to safeguard the environment. We developed the method of using nanotechnology for contaminated water treatment initiates the degradation of organic contaminant molecule in water. Our research consists of coating nanoparticles (graphite oxide) along with nano-inorganic materials (CdS) on a surface for photocatalysis of water contaminants under radiation of visible light and investigating if the organic contaminants, chosen from Propanil, Diuron, Simazine, and Metolachlor, will be decomposed through nanoparticle and visible light based photocatalysis, by monitoring and comparing the concentration of these compounds before, during, and after the photocatalysis of the water samples containing these compounds. We measure the kinetics of the decomposition process for each of the compound by monitoring the decay during the photocatalysis using the Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy and/or Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy combined with attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) techniques. The photocatalysis efficiency will be maximized by optimizing parameters involved in this nanotechnology, including nanomaterials, nanoparticle composition and size, and the approaches of coating nanoparticles on the glass tube surface. Identifying and quantifying the product molecules from the nanoparticle and visible light based photocatalysis of the chosen compounds in water, and determine the yield of the photocatalysis using the FTIR-ATR and/or Liquid Chromatography combined with Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques will be discussed.