Optimizing Pecan Shell Activated Carbons for NDMA Adsorption


Groundwater at the NASA White Sands Test Facility is contaminated with low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from past rocket fuel tests. The current treatment method is UV-photolysis, however, promising early results indicate that treatment with activated carbons may be more cost-effective. The purpose of this project with to test the limits of pecan shell biomass for production of activated carbons from local agricultural wastes. Work will include optimization of pyrolysis and activations processes, characterization of samples, and adsorption isotherm testing with NDMA solutions.

Completion Objectives:

  • Production and characterization of pecan shell chars over temperature range.
  • Production and characterization of pecan shell activated carbons using variety of methods and reaction conditions.
  • Comparison of optimized pecan shell activated carbon to commercial coconut activated carbon for NDMA adsorption.
  • Completion of methods and results sections for peer-review journal article.

Faculty Advisor:


Required Competencies

CHME 301, CHEM 115

Student Researcher:

Jose Rodriguez

Progress Report:

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