Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science - (Ph.D.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Second Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Third Advisor

S. Mitra

Fourth Advisor

Judith S. Weis

Fifth Advisor

Victor Ososkov


Heavy metals are important contaminants in many environmental media. This work focuses on the improvement of current methods for water and sediment analysis for three metals, cadmium, chromium and lead. Batch ion exchange was used for water speciation and a microwave assisted sequential extraction scheme was developed for sediment characterization. The developed methods were applied to a group of environmental samples.

The exchangeable species of these metals in water were preconcentrated on ion exchange resins. These include the bioavailable free ions and weakly complexed ions. Metals sorbed on particles and strongly complexed ions, less bioavailable, were eliminated. The method was more convenient as samples can be stored and are more easily transported. Slurry analysis was also found to be useful if needed.

The microwave sequential extraction method developed was much more rapid than currently used methods. It gave comparable results to the modified Tessier method for cadmium, and the lead and chromium results also gave useful information on the most bioavailable species.

Samples of water, sediment and biota from the Shark River showed some correlation between pollutant levels in water and sediment, although the study was not sufficiently extensive to yield many firm conclusions.



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