A study of advanced oxidation process for the removal of organic contaminants from water

Supervisory team: Scientia Prof Rose Amal, A/Prof Jason Scott and Mr Ali Esmailpour

Description: Although the surface of earth is covered by plentiful of water, there is limited usable water for human consumption. Pollution of surface water by natural and anthropogenic contamination is a critical issue for the future of society. Every year, a significant amount of new man-made materials, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as an important group of organic pollutants have been introduced to the environment and water sources Therefore, there has been an ongoing concern over fresh water quantity and quality for many years. Advance oxidation processes (AOPs) are among the most promising methods for degrading or converting hazardous organic pollutants in water treatment approaches. The fundamental mechanism of the AOPs is the generation of reactive hydroxyl radicals. Using catalysts facilitates the generation of hydroxyl radicals from ozone to improve the single ozonation which results in mineralization of nearly all organic pollutants with very high rate reaction.

The catalytic ozonation as one of the advanced oxidation processes is a very promising research filed in the quest to overcome water shortage crisis. In this research project, some straightforward techniques will be employed to increase the efficiency of catalysts in removal of organic pollutants.

Developing an improved catalyst which can be useful in catalytic ozonation process and finding the optimum conditions. Also, this project will train students in characterization, analytical methods and activity test, preparing for future career in industry and/or higher degree research.

The students selected for this project will be given opportunity to work in Particles and Catalysis Research Group (PartCat) at School of Chemical Engineering, under the supervision of Scientia Professor Rose Amal, A/Prof Jason Scott and Mr Ali Esmailpour. The students will have access to state-of-the-art experimentation facilities, mentoring opportunities and fun and nurturing working environment to gain necessary expertise facilitating their career in industry or academic research.

Suitable for: Chemical Engineers and Industrial Chemistry students. Project maybe available to do during summer semester.

Level of difficulty: Very Challenging

Further information can be obtained by contacting Professor Rose Amal (r.amal@unsw.edu.au).