Mentor: Dr. Treavor Boyer
College of Engineering
"I applied to the Scholars program to continue my undergraduate research and receive funding for my efforts. This year I intend to complete my research objectives that focus on removing pharmaceuticals from urine using anion exchange resin. I'm also looking forward to presenting my research at poster sessions and conferences."
Innovative Wastewater Treatment and Technology
Treating Water for Direct Potable Use
Source Separation Treatment of Urine to Remove Pharmaceuticals
Recovery and Reuse of Nutrients such as Phosphorous and Nitrogen
Awards and Achievements
Hobbies and Interests
Spending Time at the Beach
Reading a Good Book
Traveling to Different Places
Discovering New Restaurants
Anion Exchange Treatment to Remove Pharmaceuticals from Urine
Pharmaceuticals are an increasing environmental concern because of their acute toxicity and endocrine disrupting potential. Increased usage and improper disposal leads to the need for more research to treat and remove these contaminants. Urine is the main source of pharmaceuticals entering the environment because it contains un-metabolized pharmaceuticals. Once the pharmaceuticals enter the main waste stream they are diluted by millions of gallons of other wastewater and are too difficult to remove by conventional means. Many excreted pharmaceuticals have a net negative charge which leads to the hypothesis that anion exchange treatment would be an effective treatment method. The basis of my research is to investigate the feasibility to treat undiluted urine at the source using anion exchange resin. Prior research I completed in the 2011-2012 term established the optimal time frame and resin dose for maximum removal of the pharmaceutical of interest, diclofenac. The first objective for the 2012-2013 term is to investigate the effects of increasing the diclofenac concentration, and test different anion exchange resin properties. The second objective is to determine what effects the presence of competing anions such as citrate and phosphate may have on the removal efficiency of the resin. The results of my research can help shed light on the possibility of source separation treatment of urine which is a much more efficient and sustainable treatment method to remove concentrated contaminants such as pharmaceuticals.