MORE | Fall 2023

Synthesis of Algae-Derived MgO/Zn-Modified Activated Carbon for Nitrate and Phosphate Removal

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

With limited fresh water available on Earth, pollutants such as fertilizer run-off and sewage create high nutrient levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that threaten the future of safe, drinkable water. One way to remove and recover these nutrients from water includes adsorption using activated carbon. Algae 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, algae samples were transformed into metal-doped sorbents and characterized for their surface area per unit mass.

Student researcher

Eric Petronella

Eric J. Petronella

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024