Publication Date

Fall 2011

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Xiaoyong Chen, Ph.D.


Mercury is considered to be a global contaminant. It does not break down in the environment and can build up in living organisms. Mercury can be carried long distances on wind currents, staying in the atmosphere for long periods of time, when in its vapor form. High mercury exposure results in permanent nervous system and kidney damage. Mercury exists in three different chemical forms: elemental, inorganic, and organic. The routes of exposure can be inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. Vapor from liquid elemental mercury and methyl mercury are more easily absorbed than inorganic mercury salts and can, therefore, cause more harm. According to the 2002 Mercury Source Control and Pollution Prevention Program Final Report prepared for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), dental clinics are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs (Publicly owned treatment works). Therefore, the main objective of project is to create a special filter which nanoparticles were used to trap the water soluble mercury. The chemistry of metal alloying can be utilized for sequestration of mercury from waste water.