Faculty Advisor

Timko, Michael T.


Exposure to high levels of dissolved heavy metals can lead to significant health risks and effective methods of filtering water are needed. One method used for removing heavy metals from water is the use of sorption materials derived from agricultural waste. These materials include activated carbons, glucose hydrochars, CELF lignins from poplar, maple and bagasse, and subcritical water extraction coffee waste. It was found that the glucose hydrochars, the maplewood and bagasse lignins had the ability to absorb a small amount of copper ions. The other materials caused the test solutions to become discolored, rendering the UV spectroscopy readings inconclusive. Activating the glucose chars using pyrolysis increased the adsorption capacity and eliminated the slight colorization.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2017


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering