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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
April 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Example fulvic acid structure. This is the type of molecule Kelly's thesis was investigating with fluorescence and Jessica was investigating aluminum based coagulants to remove these molecules during drinking water treatment


Kelly Fischer: 

Aluminum binding to organic matter determined using spectral resolution and multi-response fluorescence



Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC) is a useful technique for analyzing fluorescence data to determine binding constants and speciation. When solutions of salicylic acid and aluminum were measured, each species present in the sample was able to be resolved. A mixture of organic ligands containing salicylic acid, naphthoic acid, kojic acid, and ferron was used to simulate a system of Natural Organic Matter (NOM). When the wavelengths of one or more components in the system overlap greatly, PARAFAC has a difficult time in resolving them, and the result is that the peaks are only partially resolved. This is what occurred when the mixture of ligands and aluminum was measured. Overall, this technique shows some promise in comparison to older methods, because it does not rely on prior knowledge of the identity of the components present in the solution.

  Jessica Mataseje

Synthesis and Testing of the Al3018+ Cation

as an Enhanced Coagulant for Wastewater Treatment


Objectives of Study

The health of the population may be at risk due to the formation of disinfection by-products in potable water, thus the goal of this study is to ultimately maximize the removal of the precursor, DOC in drinking water. A possible method to accomplish this includes the use of the polynuclear aluminum cation Al3018+ to optimize removal of DOC compared to the currently employed Al3+ and Al137+ in water treatment.

Summary of Objectives
  1. To carry out a series of potentiometric titrations in order to determine temperature dependence of Al hydrolysis constants.

  2. To optimize synthesis of Al13 and Al30 sulfate salts.

  3. To quantify the prepared Al30.

  4. To compare the removal of DOC from a sample of Grand River water using the Al30 polyoxocation as the coagulant and the Grand River as a water source.