Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Chemistry & Biochemistry

First Advisor

Ryan T. Hayes


For centuries, activated Charcoal (AC) has been used externally in a poultice form to adsorb "poisons" trapped in the outer layers of skin and internally to relieve intestinal discomfort and to remove toxic materials. The largest use for activated charcoal, in our society, is as a filter bed in air and water remediation cartridges. Recently, scientists have formulated AC into a nonstick dermal bandage called the Charcoal Patch (CP), but the adsorption properties are not well understood for this new formulation. Experiments have been conducted to see if these dermal bandages can be used to adsorb oils such as poison ivy and other toxic oils. Since poison ivy is an extreme dermal irritant, experiments were performed with a surrogate compound, 3- Pentadecylphenol (3-PDP), which has a similar chemical structure to urushiol, the active irritant in poison ivy. The main goal of this research is to reduce the amount of urushiol that is absorbed by the skin by using an activated charcoal dermal patch. This particular project's objective is to determine the characteristics and quantity of materials that can be adsorbed and contained in a dermal patch. Experiments were conducted by cutting out square pieces of the charcoal patch and measuring the mass gained by various substances over varying amounts of time using a precision analytical balance, capable of recording mass changes down to 100 sg. The amount of substance being adsorbed in grams per gram of CP is calculated and compared among different analytes. This is the first stage in determining the effective adsorbing ability for nonpolar analytes using charcoal that is integrated into a non-messy, non-stick dermal bandage.

Subject Area

Carbon, Activated, Charcoal--Therapeutic use, Urushiol

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.


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