*WINNER* Heavy Metal Remediation from Aqueous Solutions by New SIT Materials


  • Emily Rush


Heavy metals enter the water supply through both natural and industrial processes. While some of these metals are necessary for human metabolism, many are toxic even in small concentrations. Various methods such as ion-exchange chromatography, reverse osmosis, and chemical precipitation are currently employed to remove heavy metals from water, however the high costs and large waste generation associated with these have led to research in new methods of heavy metal remediation. This work will focus on the metal ion extracting capabilities of new silica-immobilized-thiosemicarbazone (SIT) materials. These materials were synthesized by introducing a covalent linkage between various thiosemicarbazide compounds and a functionalized silica particle, resulting in five new immobilized thiosemicarbazone ligands. Preliminary experiments show that all five materials are capable of extracting Cu2+ from an aqueous solution, but further work will be reported focusing on the Pb2+ and Cd2+ ions in aqueous solution with varying pH levels. The radioactive isotope 109Cd will be used to track the extraction by the new SIT materials, and competition studies will be performed using ICP-MS. Successful extraction of heavy metals by these newly produced SIT materials could lead to more efficient remediation of toxic substances in water.