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Wednesday, April 22 • 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Quantification of Clay Minerals in North Carolina Soil via X-Ray Diffraction

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Groundwater contamination from agricultural runoff and residential wastewater is a growing environmental threat.  Common veterinary and human medications, pesticides, fertilizers and other environmental contaminates often make their way into local rivers and streams through septic system leakage, surface runoff, and treated wastewater disposal. The ultimate fate of pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, pesticides, and personal care products in surface and groundwater depends on several factors, including the surrounding vegetation and soil composition. Electrostatic interactions between soil minerals and ionized compounds cause certain contaminates to have a higher affinity for specific soils, affecting the adsorption and relative mobility of contaminates in the environment. Therefore, understanding the mineral composition of soil is vital to predicting the fate of environmental contaminates, like pharmaceuticals, in local ecosystems. X-Ray powder diffraction is a characterization technique that helps to identify which minerals are present in a soil, however determining the weight percentage of the minerals is not a trivial task. Several methods have been proposed for quantifying XRD data using an internal standard as a matrix flushing agent. This study attempts to quantify the clay minerals in Western North Carolina soils using X-Ray powder diffraction and a reference intensity ratio analytical method. 


Wednesday April 22, 2015 2:30pm - 4:30pm PDT
Wilma Sherrill Center Grimes Atrium