Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Feng Xiao


Batch and column experiments were performed on wide range of adsorbent materials for the adsorption of copper (II) ion from aqueous solution. The objective of this research was to determine a suitable material to be applied in urban stormwater control measures such as low impact developments that will increase the pollutant reduction efficiency of the structure, specifically increase heavy metal retention. Materials analyzed in this research are wood chips, tree leaves, rice husk, biochar, modified iron-coated sand and flocculated alum particles. Batch experiments determine the maximum adsorption capacity of each material under a range of metal and adsorbent dosages. Column experiments on the other hand are created to represent soil matrix conditions found in stormwater control measures, and to determine how much cumulative copper mass retained will be achieved before column exhaustion.

Batch adsorption experiments determined that tap flocs had the greatest copper (II) binding strength with a maximum adsorption capacity of (qM = 34.5 mg/g), produced with a Langmuir isotherm model, which was followed by river flocs (qM = 32.16 mg/g) > low MICS (qM = 16.29 mg/g) > oxidized biochar (qM = 1.78 mg/g) > biochar (qM = 0.41 mg/g) > straw (qM = 0.31 mg/g) > rice husk (qM = 0.25 mg/g) > tree leaves (qM = 0.24 mg/g) > woodchips (qM = 0.21 mg/g). Whereas, column experiments indicated that modified iron-coated sand was the only adsorbent material added to a column that produced more significant retention amounts then the control alone.