Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry


The purpose of this study is to develop a unique Mercury filter system that is capable of removing both microparticulate and water soluble mercury from dental waste water in a dental office. The shavings from new fillings and the removal of old fillings make American dentistry one of the largest sources of mercury pollution in wastewater. EPA estimates that dentists discharge approximately 3.7 tons of mercury each year to POTWs [1].EPA has stated that there are approximately 160,000 dentists working in over 120,000 dental offices that use or remove amalgam in the United States – almost all of whom discharge their wastewater exclusively to POTWs [1]. Numerous studies have shown that the removal of amalgam particulates using currently available filtration system can only sieve pieces bigger than 700 micrometer in diameter [2]. In addition, there is still a significant amount of mercury located in the dissolved or soluble fraction, and is high enough to violate local POTWs discharge limits [3]. This invention will help in mercury abatement by using gold nanoparticles incorporated in to a solid porous support. Affinity of mercury to gold is well-known since ancient times. Nanomaterials, the product of contemporary science are well-known for their large surface area. The effective removal mercury from dental waste water was achieved by amalgamation of mercury with gold nanoparticles.