Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-11-2018


This study was conducted to investigate the application of manganese dioxide (MnOx(s)) and granular activated carbon (GAC) media for the removal of the acetaminophen and caffeine. Treatment of emerging micropollutants has become a concern due to their effects on environmental health. Manganese oxides can be a viable alternative for water treatment due to their abundance in the environment. Laboratory scale flow through column experiments were performed using different combinations of commercial MnOx(s) and GAC to assess the removal of caffeine and acetaminophen, and the release of Mn due to the reductive dissolution of MnOx(s). Results from high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses indicate that the removal of acetaminophen was measured in all media combinations investigated. Removal of caffeine only occurred with columns containing combinations of GAC media. There was no removal of caffeine in columns containing MnOx(s) media. Effluent Mn concentrations analyzed with inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) increased in column experiments with MnOx(s) media, but effluent Mn were below secondary standard of 50 µg L-1 set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The results of this investigation are relevant for implementation of MnOx(s) in combination with GAC for water treatment processes due to the commercial accessibility of these mineral oxides. The research contributes to a better understanding of alternative applications for the removal of micropollutants in water treatment.


Manganese Oxides, Granular Activated Carbon, Emerging Organic Contaminants, Acetaminophen, Caffeine

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Jose Cerrato

Second Committee Member

Abdul-Mehdi Ali

Third Committee Member

Kerry Howe

Fourth Committee Member

Bruce Thomson