(393az) Role of Engineered Nanoparticles in Ultrafiltration of Drinking Water
The research objective of the overall project is to conduct a fundamental study of adsorption behavior in complex mixtures of nanoparticles, humic acids (HA) and polysulfone-flocs (PSF). The results will inform the nano-scale design of modern nanocomposite ultrafiltration (UF) water membrane separations. Water treatment can be an energy-intensive process requiring costly regeneration of the filtration media when fouled. The model foulant used in this study was humic acid. The experimental design was to stir flocked polysulfone in combination with humic acid and nanoparticles (gold, 50 nm diameter) in water to understand competitive adsorption phenomena. The mixture is stirred 24 hours, then filtered. The filtrate is analyzed by fluorescence spectroscopy (EEMS) for HA and by UV-visible spectroscopy for nano-gold. The relative amounts remaining in the filtrate will be used to determine adsorption coefficients with fit to a modified Freundlich isotherm. Results will be compared to previous studies performed using granular activated carbon instead of the polysulfone.