Application of solid catalysts to enhance degradation of emerging pollutants in water using ozone

The presence of emerging pollutants (chemicals such as pesticides, residual pharmaceuticals and personal care products) in surface water bodies is becoming a serious concern not only for their environmental impact, but also for their potentially serious adverse effects on human health. Innovative water treatment technologies are under investigation to determine their potential application in current drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities in eliminating these micro-pollutants in water.

In order to reduce the concentrations of micro-pollutants in water, reaction with ozone (O3) assisted by solid catalysts is considered a potentially viable process. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent that can be produced from oxygen using available ozone generators. Since ozone is highly unstable in water, it is necessary to assess the efficiency of different catalysts that increase ozone stability and selectivity in its reaction with various micro-pollutants in water.

The purpose of the present project is to compare the efficiency of ozonation in the presence of three solid catalysts (activated carbon, alumina and modified alumina developed in our laboratory) in terms of target compound removal and ozone consumption. A semi-continuous reaction system is currently used in our laboratory to evaluate catalyst effectiveness and to study effects of operating parameters.

Different stages of the experimental work involve the following steps:
• Comparing the levels of ozone consumption and micro-pollutant removal at different catalyst doses
• Performing equilibrium adsorption experiments to establish the effects of compound adsorption on the catalysts
• Determining time required for maximum micro-pollutant removal based on kinetic parameters

The research project involves different scientific activities. The student will work with a team of researchers in performing a variety of technical tasks in Catalytic Ozonation Laboratory. These activities include:

• preparation of chemical mixtures of micro-pollutants
• operation of semi-continuous catalytic ozonation reactor
• preparation of HPLC calibration curves for the micro-pollutants
• analysis of samples of reaction products
• collection and compilation of the research data
• preparation of technical reports
• collaboration in developing reaction kinetics
• collaboration in performing preliminary feasibility study

The student will work in a team environment and will receive supervision and training from the supervisor, post doctoral fellows, graduate students (both PhD and MSc) and experienced undergraduate project students.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jafar Soltan


Gokulakannan Selvam



Engineering - chemical / biological



University of Saskatchewan



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects