Aqueous Mercury Sorption by Functionalized Silica-Coated Carbon Material

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Noah D. Meeks and D.B. Bhattacharyya, Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Mercury contaminated waters, from lakes and rivers to mine runoff and other contaminated streams, poses a serious public health hazard. The removal of these ions by adsorption faces many obstacles, such as increasing capacity and developing regeneration strategies. This study uses silica-coated carbon particles as a platform material, which is functionalized with various moieties for efficient sorption of dissolved mercury species. Preliminary investigations have shown this thiol-functionalized platform to have a capacity of up to 85 mg Hg / g sorbent (200 ppm Hg feed concentration at pH ~ 5.5). However, while thiol functional groups allow for an extremely high sorption capacity, these materials are not easily regenerated due to the high stability of the HgS bond. Results for various functionalization schemes are presented, with a focus on schemes which may allow for efficient regeneration. Material characterization including pore structure determination, extent of functionalization, morphology of functionalized coating, thermal properties, and stability issues are presented. Modeling and kinetics based on characterization are also presented. This work is supported by NEI Corporation.

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