Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mlsna, Todd E.

Committee Member

Wipf, David O.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Debra Ann

Committee Member

Patrick, Amanda

Committee Member

Chambers, Janice E.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Complete embargo for 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Water pollution is one of the major ecological threats people face around the world. Water contamination by organic and inorganic compounds is hazardous to both the environment and human health. Adsorption techniques have gained much attention in the field of water remediation due to their efficiency, simplicity in operation, and ease of implementation. However, the adsorbents currently being used are costly. The main objective of this work is to develop novel, low-cost adsorbents from waste material by modifying the adsorbent surface for water remediation. Adsorbent modifications involve various chemical and physical methods such as acid/base treatments, metal/metal oxide impregnation, functional group alteration, and steam/air activation. In chapter I, these modification methods are summarized along with characterization techniques and adsorption interactions available for contaminant removal. In chapter II, a novel activated carbon is introduced from the fruit of Garcinia cambogia with acid activation, for the removal of Pb(II) and Cd(II) from water. Activated carbon was prepared by soaking dried Garcinia cambogia pieces in 85% phosphoric acid and carbonizing at 650 °C in a muffle furnace for 1 h. Chapter III describes the modification of waste tire rubber as an adsorbent for heavy metal ion removal. This modification was done by mixing ground tire rubber (GTR) with chitosan dissolved acetic acid (2%) solution followed by NaOH treatment. Chitosan modified-GTR successfully removed more Pb(II) and Cu(II) ions than GTR, suggesting added amine groups on the GTR surface through chitosan modification enhanced the heavy metal ion adsorption. In chapter IV, caffeine, ibuprofen, and acetylsalicylic acid removals by hybrid magnetic Fe3O4/Douglas fir biochar adsorbent are discussed. Adsorptions were compared with non-magnetic Douglas fir biochar. The surface chemistry and composition of modified adsorbents were examined by SEM, SEM-EDX, TEM, PZC, XRD, XPS, FTIR, TGA, elemental analysis, and surface area measurements.



Adsorbent||Water remediation||Biochar