Copper Conundrum: Using Pistachio Shells to Remove Copper (II) from an Aqueous Solution

Nicole Garcia, Zoe Katzman, Monique Perry, Daniel Martin Melinda Capes, Physical Science Department (Chemistry) Los Medanos College, 2700 E Leland Rd, Pittsburg, CA 94565

Copper is a pollutant of the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta, which has consequences for the environment. Copper affects wildlife, vegetation, as well as endangers people who are exposed to high levels. As the population and technology continue to grow, so does pollution, and renewable filtration methods become more necessary. Agricultural waste products have been found to be viable bioadsorbents for the removal of dyes and ions This study aims to investigate the leaching of copper (II) cations by pistachio shells. Pistachio shells were chosen because they are a local waste product, 98% of the United States pistachios come from California. For this research project, pistachios were shelled, crushed to rice sized pieces, rinsed in deionized water, and dried at 100° C before being submerged in the copper (II) solution. The adsorption of copper (II) was monitored with pistachio shell treatment to determine the concentration of copper (II) remaining in solution. Ammonia was added, creating the dark blue tetramminecopper (II) complex which absorbs in the visible region allowing for quantitative analysis of the copper (II) using absorption spectroscopy. Results show a slight decrease in the concentration of copper (II) in solution, with maximum adsorption within 10 minutes. These findings could be translated into a larger scale water filtration method useful for removing contaminants from mining or refinery runoff. 


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Nicole Garcia

Institution: Los Medanos College

Type: Poster

Subject: Chemistry

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Tue 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Number: 3546