Transformation of Halogenated PBTs with Nanoscale Bimetallic Particles

EPA Grant Number: GR832225
Alternative EPA Grant Number: R832225
Title: Transformation of Halogenated PBTs with Nanoscale Bimetallic Particles
Investigators: Zhang, Wei-xian
Institution: Lehigh University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007 (Extended to December 31, 2008)
Project Amount: $325,000
RFA: Exploratory Research to Anticipate Future Environmental Issues: Impacts of Manufactured Nanomaterials on Human Health and the Environment (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Health Effects , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Health , Safer Chemicals


Objective of this research is to develop nanoscale bimetallic particles (e.g., Fe-Pd) with sizes in the range of 1-100 nm for treatment of hydrophobic, persistent, bioaccumulative toxic compounds (PBTs). Nanoparticles have higher contaminant availability and higher reactivity towards PBTs.


State-of-the-art techniques of nanomaterial synthesis will be exploited to create novel materials for PBT treatment. The design principles of biomedical drug delivery reagents will be adapted to derivatize the iron nanoparticle surface. For example, negatively charged polyelectrolytes could be attached to nanoparticle surfaces to inhibit particle adsorption to negatively charged clay platelets and soil particles. Hydrophilic carbon may be used as a support for the iron nanoparticles to enhance the nanoparticle dispersion. Biodegradable β-cyclodextrins have the potential to control the nanoparticle size and enhance chemical availability of hydrophobic PBTs. The synthesized nanoparticles will be systematically assessed for their rate and extent of PBT degradation. Model compounds selected for this research include: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), chlorinated benzenes and phenols. Finally, transport and reactions of the iron nanoparticles in porous media will be studied in laboratory soil columns. Fluorescent tagging methods will be used for detailed microscopic analysis of particle transport and deposition in porous media.

Expected Results:

To effectively control and remediate PBTs in the environment, cost effective treatment and remediation technologies are needed. This proposed research will establish a fundamental knowledge base (e.g., methods of synthesis, activity assessment, environmental fate) for a new generation of environmental technologies.

This research will provide great opportunities for two graduate students in the area of environmental engineering and nanotechnology. We will actively explore collaborations with industries and governmental agencies for field demonstration projects.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 68 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 28 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ground water, nanoparticles, nanotechnology, organics, PBTs, PCBs, remediation, soil, and sediments., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Environmental Chemistry, Remediation, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Biochemistry, New/Innovative technologies, Environmental Engineering, nanoparticle remediation, decontamination, bioengineering, persistant bioaccumulative toxic compounds, biodegradation, remediation technologies, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, bio-engineering, nanocatalysts, biotechnology, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, sustainability, nanoscale bimetallic particles, innovative technologies, bioremediation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007
  • Final Report