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Title: Micro- and Nano- Porous Adsorptive Materials for Removal of Contaminants from Water at Point-of-Use
Authors: Yakub, Ismaiel
Advisors: Soboyejo, Winston
Contributors: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Keywords: Adhesion of E.coli Bacteria to Silver - or Copper - Coated Porous Ceramic Surfaces
Adsorption of Fluoride from Water using Sintered Clay-Hydroxyapatite Composites
Mechanical Properties and Design of Porous Clay Ceramics
Porosity and Filtration Characteristics of Frustum-Shaped Ceramic Water Filters
Removal of Fluoride from Water Using the "Buckyweb"
Subjects: Materials Science
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Water is food, a basic human need and a fundamental human right, yet hundreds of millions of people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. As a result, about 5000 people die each day from preventable water borne diseases. This dissertation presents the results of experimental and theoretical studies on three different types of porous materials that were developed for the removal of contaminants from water at point of use (household level). First, three compositionally distinct porous ceramic water filters (CWFs) were made from a mixture of redart clay and sieved woodchips and processed into frustum shape. The filters were tested for their flow characteristics and bacteria filtration efficiencies. Since, the CWFs are made from brittle materials, and may fail during processing, transportation and usage, the mechanical and physical properties of the porous clays were characterized, and used in modeling designed to provide new insights for the design of filter geometries. The mechanical/physical properties that were characterized include: compressive strength, flexural strength, facture toughness and resistance curve behavior, keeping in mind the anisotropic nature of the filter structure. The measured flow characteristics and mechanical/physical properties were then related to the underlying porosity and characteristic pore size. In an effort to quantify the adhesive interactions associated with filtration phenomena, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure the adhesion between bi-material pairs that are relevant to point-of-use ceramic water filters. The force microscopy measurements of pull-off force and adhesion energy were used to rank the adhesive interactions. Similarly, the adsorption of fluoride to hydroxyapatite-doped redart clay was studied using composites of redart clay and hydroxyapatite (C-HA). The removal of fluoride from water was explored by carrying out adsorption experiments on C-HA adsorbents with different ratios of clay to hydroxyapatite (and sintered at different temperatures). The overall adsorption was controlled using water with varying fluoride concentrations and adsorbent-adsorbate contact times. Prototype frustum-shaped C-HA filters were then fabricated and shown to remove both fluoride and E.coli bacteria from water. Finally, "buckyweb", which is a foam comprising carbon nanotubes and graphene was made via thermal ablation of graphite, and tested for its deflouridation capacity. Defluoridation was studied in terms of concentration of fluoride, contact time and pH. The structure and adsorption characteristics of buckyweb foams were elucidated via energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The implications of the results were then explored for potential applications in water filtration.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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