Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Abbas Ahmad Khalil

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Soliman Abdullah

Third Advisor

Ismagilove Zinfer Rishatovich


The work presented in this thesis involves a series of studies carried out toward the two main goals of this project. The first goal is to prepare high surface area pure copper (II) oxide and composites containing copper (II) oxide. The second goal is to investigate the catalytic reactivity of these materials toward the adsorption and decomposition of the environmentally hazardous chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds (CHC).

The first part of this work involves several studies to prepare ultra [me powder of pure copper oxide. Forced precipitation method has been employed starting with copper (II) chloride or copper (II) nitrate Nona hydrate as the precursor. Besides varying the precursor, varieties of solvents have been investigated. Promising results have been obtained where high-surface-area powders of CuO have been obtained using ethanol or t-butanol as the solvent. TGA, FTIR, and powder x-ray diffraction studies have shown that the initial CU (OH) 2 Product converted completely to CuO at temperatures between 180 and 250°C. The surface area of the CuO depends on the calcinations temperature where specific surface areas in the range of 40-60 m2/g were obtained after calcination at 2500c. Besides the pure CuO, composites containing CuO supported on activated carbon, Al203 and Ti02 have been prepared, through wet impregnation method, and characterized.

The second part of this work involved several reactivity studies to investigate the capability of these materials to adsorb and catalytically decompose C2Cl4 and CC4 as representative CHC compounds. Significant results have been obtained in a direction that resulted in a series of important conclusions. One of the most significant conclusions established was the remarkable catalytic reactivity that TiO2-CuO exhibited towards the decomposition of C2C4 in the presence of water producing CO2 and HCl without the formation of any of the undesired products COCI2, CO, and C12. C2C4 is known for its stability toward the adsorption and decomposition on metal oxide surfaces which makes such results very interesting and promising towards the optimization of practical catalytic systems for these environmentally important processes.