Charcoal vs. Clay

1225 Words5 Pages
Charcoal vs. Clay Research Project, Section 571, Alejandra Navarro* and Alessandra Thompson * - Primary Author Abstract Two substances – charcoal and Bentonite clay- were tested to determine which item would be a better at adsorbing harmful PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that pollute water supplies. Through careful testing, it was proven that charcoal was a better adsorbent than the clay. Both materials adsorbed the model PAH to some extent, but charcoal would be the better choice when selecting which should be used to filter the harmful pollutants out of the water. Introduction In today’s society, water pollution caused by by-products of industrial and agricultural processes is an extremely prominent problem (Schwarzenbach, Egli, Hofstetter, et. al.). Some pollutants – for instance, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – can lead to life-threatening diseases in humans and wildlife, such as cancer (Harvey). Scientists use many different methods to remove these pollutants from water supplies; one of those methods is the utilization of adsorption onto a porous substance, normally charcoal. Due to numerous circumstances, scientists have begun searching for alternatives to charcoal, one of them being Bentonite clay. However, Bentonite clay cannot be easily removed from the water, so in this project the students were instructed to modify the clay to make it magnetic and then compare its effectiveness in absorbing a model PAH against charcoal. Materials and Methods Part One In this part of the experiment, the students were instructed to magnetize the Bentonite clay. This was achieved by first preparing a 70˚C hot water bath using 250.0mL of distilled water in a 600.0mL beaker. Forty milliliters of distilled water was poured into a 250.0mL Erlenmeyer flask and placed into the water bath. About .7800g of FeCl3 and .3900g FeSO4·7H2O were added to the flask;

More about Charcoal vs. Clay

Open Document