Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Robert P. Carnahan, Ph.D., P.E., D.E.E.

Committee Member

Marilyn Barger, Ph.D., P.E.

Committee Member

Scott Campbell, Ph.D.


Arsenite, Arsenate, Zeolite, Freundlich, Langmuir


Arsenic contamination in drinking water has been a cause of serious concerns across the United States as well as throughout the world. Over 70 million people in Eastern India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Northern China have been victims of arsenic poisoning. The USEPA has classified arsenic as a Class A carcinogen and recently reduced the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) in drinking water from 50ppb to 10ppb. The deadline for all the water utilities to meet this level is 23rd January 2006. To meet those drinking water standards, small water utilities need low cost and effective arsenic removal techniques.

Natural zeolites such as Chabazite are excellent sorbents for several metallic and radioactive cations. Modifying the zeolite structure can effectively enhance the adsorption capacities of these zeolites for removal of heavy metals. The present work investigates the adsorption capacities of Cuprous and Ferrous treated Chabazite for removal of arsenic. This investigation is a part of a broader project directed at developing an effective pretreatment process that uses modified Chabazite in conjugation with Microfiltration (MF) or Ultrafiltration (UF) for removal of organic and inorganic contaminants.

The goal of this research is to determine how well Cuprous and Ferrous treated Chabazite sorbs arsenic in its trivalent and pentavalent state. The other objectives of this research are to examine which modification of the chabazite has the higher removal efficiency of arsenic. This study will also compare arsenic adsorption on the modified zeolites in response to competitive adsorption of various anions present in natural source waters such as sulfates, hydroxides, and chlorides.

The potential benefit of this study is to find the most effective treatment of for removal of arsenic species from aqueous solutions. This investigation may provide small water utilities, with a cost effective way for removal of arsenic and thus meet the recommended new regulatory maximum contaminant level (MCL).