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Andrea Kraetz

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2019
Chemical Engineering

Improving Selenium Oxoanion Removal with Molecular Imprinting

Mentor: Candace Chan
FURI: Spring 2019

Selenium in water can be toxic to various organisms at very low concentrations. Layered double hydroxides (LDH) have shown promise as nanomaterial sorbents for selenium oxoanions. Due to similarities between selenium and sulfur oxoanions, LDH can favor sulfate adsorption over that of selenate in solutions with high sulfate concentrations such as power plant wastewater. Through the inclusion of LDH into a chitosan biopolymer, the nanocomposite can be molecularly imprinted to improve selenate selectivity in solutions containing sulfate. This can make water treatment for power plants and other processes more efficient and improve overall water quality.

Other Projects

Leaching and Attrition of Layered Double Hydroxide Sorbents for Selenium Oxoanions

Mentor: Candace Chan
FURI: Spring 2018

Layered double hydroxides (LDH) show promise as a nanomaterial sorbent for selenium in order to prevent environmental concerns of this element, but they can greatly increase alkalinity and concentrations of other elements to impractical levels. The goal is to understand how this is happening and how to remediate this problem. Through testing with various water samples, LDH appears to undergo attrition and to be leaching into the water. This can be prevented through its inclusion in a composite material, which opens new opportunities to provide clean water by determining how to make it most effective at removal without adverse effects.