FURI | Summer 2021

Effectiveness of Algal-Derived MgO-Biochar Nanocomposites for Nitrate and Phosphate Removal from Water

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With limited fresh water available on Earth, pollutants such as fertilizer run-off and sewage create high nutrient levels of nitrogen and phosphorous that threaten the future of safe, drinkable water. One way to remove and recover these nutrients from water includes adsorption using activated carbon. Algal biomass is a cheap and fast-growing carbon source that thrives on waste products in water. Collected from ASU’s algae farm on the Polytechnic campus, an algal sample was transformed into a carbon sorbent and its effectiveness in removing nitrate and phosphate from water will be evaluated.

Student researcher

Eric Petronella

Eric J. Petronella

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024