Title page for ETD etd-06242010-155132

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Tang, Jia
Author's Email Address
URN etd-06242010-155132
Title Modeling contaminant transport in polyethylene and metal speciation in saliva
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dietrich, Andrea M. Committee Chair
Daniel L. Gallagher Committee Member
Marc A. Edwards Committee Member
  • zinc
  • iron
  • flavor
  • chemical speciation
  • artificial saliva
  • modeling
  • polyethylene pipe
  • geomembrane
  • diffusivity
  • solubility
  • polymer
  • copper
Date of Defense 2010-06-17
Availability unrestricted
Properties of both chemical contaminants and polymers can impact contaminant diffusivity and solubility in new and aged polyethylene materials for pipes and geomembranes. Diffusivity, solubility, polymer and chemical properties were measured for thirteen contaminants and six polyethylene materials that were new and/or aged in chlorinated water. Tree regression was used to select variables, and linear regression was used to develop predictive equations for contaminant diffusivity and solubility in polyethylene. Organic contaminant properties had greater predictive capability than polyethylene properties. Model coefficients significantly changed between new materials to chlorine-aged materials, indicating changes of polyethylene properties impact the interaction between contaminants and polymers.

The metallic flavor of copper in drinking water influences the taste of water and can cause the taste problems for water utilities. The mechanism of metallic flavor caused by these metals is related to free or soluble ions. Free copper concentrations were measured at different pH in diluted artificial saliva using a cupric ion selective electrode. Three major proteins in human saliva: α-amylase, mucin and lactoferrin, were added in the artificial saliva and the impacts on the chemical speciation of copper were analyzed. Inorganic saliva components, typically phosphate, carbonate and hydroxide combined with copper and greatly influenced the levels of free copper in the oral cavity. Proteins such as α-amylase, mucin and lactoferrin also impacted the chemical speciation of copper, with different affinity to copper. Mucin had the greatest affinity with copper than α-amylase.

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