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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Aleksey Vasiliev

Committee Members

Scott Kirkby, Ningfeng Zhao


The objective of this work was the development of an efficient adsorbent for irreversible immobilization of heavy metals in contaminated soils. The adsorbent was prepared by pillaring montmorillonite with silica followed by the grafting of a chelate ligand onto its surface. Its structure was studied by the Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller Method adsorption of N2, Dynamic Light Scattering, and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The adsorption capacity of the organoclay was measured by its mixing with contaminated kaolin soil samples and by analysis of heavy metal contents in leachate. The adsorbent was efficient in immobilization of heavy metals in both neutral aqueous and acidic media. In addition, the adsorbent was efficient in environmental samples reducing the concentration of iron in all samples in aqueous and acidic media. As a result, the adsorbent can be used for reduction of heavy metal leaching from contaminated sites.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.