Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Chemistry

Date of Award

8-2008

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chu-Ngi Ho

Committee Members

Jeffrey G. Wardeska, Yu-Lin Jiang

Abstract

This study aims to determine the distribution of particulates carrying heavy metals at selected sites on a college campus using dandelion leaves as collectors. As a comparison, sites far away from the campus surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway Car Racing Stadium were also monitored. To reduce the probability of memory effects from the long-term atmospheric deposition or absorption of metals from soil a seasonal plant, dandelion, was used to monitor the metal contents. The metals monitored are cadmium, calcium, copper, chromium, iron, lead, and zinc. Fourteen sites were monitored and samples were collected once a week initially (growing time of the plant), and later at 4-week interval from 28th March to 31st August of 2007. The metal contents of the nitric acid digested and appropriately diluted samples were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry using the regular standard calibration curve and also the standard addition method. From the results obtained, and the careful log of the weather and human activities at the different sites, it is concluded that human activities played a major role in the distribution of metal-laden particulates. Also dandelion leaves were proven to be viable collectors of these particulates without memory effects and as indicators of current particulates generated rather than a long-term cumulative one.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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