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Press release

Press release

Doctoral thesis on innovative materials for water purification

Maryam Hmoudah.
Maryam Hmoudah

M.Sc. (Chem.Eng.) Maryam Hmoudah’s doctoral thesis in Industrial Chemistry and Reaction Engineering will be put forth for public defence at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University.

The thesis is entitled Innovative Materials for Water Purification.

The public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on Thursday 30 May 2024 at 2.15 PM at the Argentum auditorium, Aurum, Henrikinkatu 2, Turku. Associate Professor Jakob Munkholt Christensen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Lyngby, Denmark, will serve as opponent and Professor Tapio Salmi, Åbo Akademi University, as custos. You can also follow the defence online.


The insecure future of freshwater resources is undoubtedly a serious challenge for living beings. Human activities generate harmful compounds or pollutants that should be treated before they are released into the ecosystem. The chaotic discharge of organic and inorganic compounds is considered a long-standing and aggravated global problem. Particularly, emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs), personal care products, surfactants, various industrial additives, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals have proven to harm human health and ecological systems. Most of the current physical, chemical, and biological technologies used in wastewater treatment are prohibitively expensive and face many operational challenges. Therefore, the development of economic, viable, and scalable techniques can profoundly secure access to safe and good drinking water quality.

The advancement in the last two decades of wastewater purification methods including adsorption onto non-conventional solids, advanced oxidation, and photodegradation is gaining massive attention. These technologies have many advantages, once compared to other treatment techniques, such as simplicity, cost feasibility, and ease of operation including applying moderate operating conditions.

The main aim of this doctoral thesis is to investigate the efficiency of novel in-house prepared materials to remove emerging contaminants from wastewater such as ibuprofen, bromocresol green, alizarin red s, and methylene blue, and compare them to classical commercial materials through majorly adsorption and photodegradation. Both batch and semi-batch modes were studied considering different operational parameters to investigate the kinetics. This work also includes experimental data validation through simulations for batch and semi-batch systems. Advanced reactor modeling was carried out, describing the collected data in both scales with a rigorous approach, considering both physical and chemical phenomena occurring in the reaction network, i.e. discriminating mass transfer and reaction limiting steps.

Maryam Hmoudah was born in 1986 in Nablus, Palestine. She can be reached by phone +972 595 229 317 or email maryam.hmoudah@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive.

Click here for a press photo of the doctoral student.

Instructions for following the doctoral defence remotely:

To follow the defence, you need the Zoom software or the Google Chrome browser. You do not need to create a Zoom account to follow the defence. If you install the application, you participate by clicking on the meeting link, after which you should allow the link to open in the Zoom app.