Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Laura MacManus-Spencer

Second Advisor

Michael Hagerman




water, contaminants, removal, solution


Ceria has received great attention for the removal of water contaminants due to its high oxygen storage capacity, marked oxygen ion conductivity, and tunable catalytic activity. Zhong et al. suggested that ceria (cerium oxide) microspheres with nanoscale 3D flowerlike morphology represent a promising inorganic synthetic material to remove water contaminants such as As(V) and Cr(VI) from drinking water. The 3D flowerlike micro/nanocomposite ceria offer key advantages over other nanoparticle based remediation systems as they can be easily removed via conventional microfiltration. The goals of this thesis project were to test the reproducibility of the synthesis of the 3D flowerlike ceria, and to assess the ability of the material to remove As(V) and Cr(VI) from water. Analyses using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and attenuated total reflectance-infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR) confirmed the successful synthesis of the 3D flowerlike ceria. Inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to quantify the removal of As(V) and Cr(VI) from water; results revealed that the concentrations of As(V) and Cr(VI) were reduced by more than 90% using the 3D flowerlike ceria, and their final concentrations were lower than the maximum contaminant levels set by the U.S. EPA. SEM images of both exposed and recycled 3D flowerlike ceria indicated that the 3D flowerlike morphology was retained after exposure to As(V) and Cr(VI) and after washing with NaOH solution. The 3D flowerlike ceria is an effective nanosorbent for the removal of As(V) and Cr(VI) in water treatment.

Included in

Chemistry Commons