Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Aleksey N. Vasiliev

Committee Members

Yu-Lin Jiang, Ningfeng (Peter) Zhao


Presence of a chelating ligand in the clay structure significantly improves its ability to immobilize heavy metals from contaminated sludge or wastewater. Two-step modification procedure comprising sequential pillaring and grafting of chelating agent to the modified clay is involved.

Montmorillonite and kaolin were chosen as typical examples of expandable and non-expandable clays, correspondingly. Modifications with silica and ferric oxide were targeted on development of mesoporous structure. Laboratory tests of the organoclay efficiency for purification of wastewater were conducted with the most promising sample, i.e. organoclay with the highest specific loading of chelating agent. Experiments were conducted with model wastewater containing either individual or mixed cations of heavy metals.

The modified organoclay displayed a high adsorption capacity on heavy metal cations even in acidic media. The method of modification presented in this work can be used for synthesis of efficient adsorbents for applications in contaminated areas.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.