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WaTA Seminar Series

December 13, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Dr. Brooke Mayer, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University, presents “Iron-enhancing mitigation of viruses in drinking water.”

Dr. Brooke Mayer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University. She completed her BS, MS, and PhD at Arizona State University, all with a focus on Environmental Engineering. Her research and teaching interests focus primarily on physical-chemical treatment processes for water and wastewater applications, including mitigation of pathogens, nutrients, and disinfection byproducts.

Iron-based water treatment has promise as a low-cost, nontoxic means of virus mitigation. This study first investigated ferrous iron as a novel disinfectant for viruses, and then assessed its impact in a treatment process featuring iron oxidation (electrocoagulation). Finally, an electrocoagulationelectrooxidation treatment train as investigated to capitalize on the strengths of iron electrocoagulation. Ferrous iron oxidation correlated to bacteriophage inactivation, indicating a potential mechanism for mitigation other than physical removal. Greater inactivation was associated with both a higher ferrous iron dose and a slower rate of iron oxidation. For iron electrocoagulation, ferrous oxidation was the primary mechanism of mitigation for bacteriophages fr, MS2, and P22. However, mitigation of bacteriophage ΦX174 and three mammalian viruses (adenovirus, echovirus, and feline calicivirus) was primarily due to physical removal via inclusion of viruses in flocs. Bacteriophage ΦX174 was also the only representative mammalian virus surrogate, though the other bacteriophages are commonly used as surrogates for human viruses in water treatment research. Relative susceptibility of viruses to ferrous-based inactivation was explained by electrostatic interactions and capsid thickness. At typical coagulation doses (<30 mg/L Fe), ferrous iron did not enhance electrooxidation with boron-doped diamond electrodes. Nevertheless, the electrocoagulation-electrooxidation treatment train was beneficial in synthetic model surface waters, though electrocoagulation alone achieved equal or better mitigation in model groundwaters.


December 13, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Global Water Center, 1st Floor Auditorium
247 W Freshwater Way
Milwaukee, WI 53204
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