University of Wisconsin - Green Bay


Research Council

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John Lyon

John Lyon

Fall 2009

"Oxygen Activation for Water Purification"

Grant in Aid of Research

Final Report: "The project that was proposed in this grant application was to investigate the oxidation of dissolved organic material by oxygen in the presence of a reducing metal. Shortly after the proposal was made I became interested in the use of zinc oxide, a semiconductor material, instead of reducing metals as the activator for dissolved oxygen. The advantage of using zinc oxide over that of a reducing metal is that the system is potentially photocatalytic. Zinc oxide is a photoactive semiconductor that, in the presence of uv light and oxygen, is known to promote the formation of strongly oxidizing species that oxidized dissolved organic material. The work over the past two years has explored the relationship between the zinc oxide particle shape and the conditions of formation and the particle shape and catalytic activity. The zinc oxide solid was prepared by the hydrothermal method. Zinc nitrate was combined with sodium hydroxide in the presence of different anions and the milky solution maintained at 80°C for between 24 and 72 hours. Depending upon the anion present, the zinc oxide particle shape varied from simple rods and plates, to complex shapes like rosettes. The shapes and sizes were determined by scanning electron microscopy. Catalytic activity was measured using methylene blue as a surrogate for dissolved organic matter. The change in the concentration of methylene blue was measured spectrophotometrically under controlled conditions. Work is continuing on the project to refine our understanding of the relationship between particle shape and size and catalytic activity."


Fall 2005

"Characterization of Palladium Alloys as Catalysts for the Hydrodechlorination of Chlorohydrocarbons"

Grant in Aid of Research


Spring 2000

"Gain information regarding metals and their Kinetic Properties using SEM and STM"

Grant in Aid of Research


Spring 1998

"Kinetic Investigation of the Hydrodehalogenation of Chlorophenols at a Palladium and Palladium/Nickel Modified Carbon Electrode"

Grant in Aid of Research


Spring 1997

"Kinetic Investigation of the Hydrodehalogenation of Chlorophenols at a Palladium Modified Carbon Electrode"

Grant in Aid of Research


Spring 1996

"Treatment of Contaminated Groundwater, Characterization of the Reaction between Atrazine and Iron"

Grant in Aid of Research