Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Dr. David A. Atwood

Abstract

Mercury and arsenic are widespread contaminants in aqueous environments throughout the world. The elements arise from multiple sources including mercury from coal-fired power plants and wells placed in natural geological deposits of arseniccontaining minerals. Both elements have significant negative health impacts on humans as they are cumulative toxins that bind to the sulfhydryl groups in proteins, disrupting many biological functions. There are currently no effective, economical techniques for removing either mercury or arsenic from aqueous sources. This thesis will demonstrate a superior removal method for both elements by formation of covalent bonds with the sulfur atoms in N,N’-Bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide (commonly called “B9”). That B9 can precipitate both elements from water is unusual since aqueous mercury exists primarily as a metal(II) dication while aqueous arsenic exists as As(III) and As(V) oxyanions.

Included in

Chemistry Commons

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