The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce Sasha Norwood's MS Thesis Defense: "Characterization of Nano-scale Aluminum Oxide Transport through Porous Media."
Date: Monday, May 10, 2013
Location: Engineering Building 502J (Dean's Conference Room)
Adviser: Dr. Gwynn Johnson
Land application of biosolids has become common practice in the United States as an alternative to industrial fertilizers. Although nutrient rich, biosolids have been found to contain high concentrations of unregulated and/or unrecognized emerging contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, personal care products) while containing a significant fraction of inorganic nano-scale colloidal materials such as oxides of iron, titanium, and aluminum. Given their reactivity and small size, there are many questions concerning the potential migration of these nano-sized colloidal materials through the soil column. The purpose of this current research was to characterize the long-term transport behavior of nanocolloids associated with biosolids, specifically Al2O3, through a natural porous media with changes in pH, aqueous-phase concentration, pore-water velocity and electrolyte. Given the ubiquity of nanocolloidal materials, particularly engineered nanomaterials, coupled with the expected increase in land-application of biosolids, a clear understanding of their transport and fate is prudent to understanding the potential impact these emerging pollutants may have on our surface and groundwater bodies.