Faculty Advisor

Timko, Michael T.


Heavy metals in drinking water is a serious health concern. Activated carbon is a commonly used adsorbent to remove heavy metals from water. Although effective, it is expensive and difficult to manufacture. Our project analyzes glucose hydrochars to determine if they could be a viable alternative for heavy metal adsorption in the future. The structure of the glucose hydrochar is dependent on its reaction time. We compared the adsorption capacity and surface area of different synthesized hydrochars to the activated carbon, Picachem HP-120. The results showed that activated carbon had the largest adsorption capacity by mass, but the hydrochars had a significantly larger capacity by surface area. We attributed this result to the larger number of functional groups on the hydrochar surface.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering