PhD defense – María Leal Meca

Published On: July 9, 2015

Maria Leal-Meca has recently defended her doctoral thesis at the Rey Juan Carlos University obtaining the highest rating. Maria was predoctoral researcher at IMDEA Water Institute during the period 2011-2014. She is currently staff of the University previously mentioned and researcher linked to IMDEA Water.PhD Thesis

Maria's work is framed in the context of reclaimed water reuse, always ensuring the quality of groundwater. Thus, the Thesis entitled: “Application of active carbon, clinoptilolite and palygorskite in the sorption of pollutants for wastewater regeneration”, has studied the sorption capacity of activated carbon, clinoptilolite and palygorskite, as reactive materials to be installed in a permeable reactive bed included in an artificial recharge system. To attain this goal, column sorption and batch sorption-desorption tests have been carried out. A detailed characterization of the reactive materials preceded the experiments, being the basis for the interpretation of the experimental results.

The results showed that the activated carbon is not only effective in the removal of organic micropollutants, but also this material has high affinity for inorganic contaminants (NH4+ and PO43-) and dissolved organic carbon. In general, the sorption process is hysteretic and irreversible. The large observed sorption on the activated carbon is related to its amphoteric character, to the π-π interactions and to its large surface area and volume of micropores.

Biography – María Leal Meca

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