Nanostructured Materials for Environmental Decontamination of Chlorinated Compounds

EPA Grant Number: GR832374
Title: Nanostructured Materials for Environmental Decontamination of Chlorinated Compounds
Investigators: Lu, Yunfeng , John, Vijay T.
Institution: Tulane University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2005 through July 31, 2008 (Extended to July 31, 2009)
Project Amount: $320,000
RFA: Greater Research Opportunities: Research in Nanoscale Science Engineering and Technology (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Nanotechnology , Safer Chemicals


A novel nanostructured catalyst containing zerovalent iron nanoparticles encapsulated in silica nanoshells is described. This nanocomposite offers a tremendous range of applications since the silica nanoshells can be functionalized to make the composite stable in aqueous or organic media. The hypothesis is that the nanocomposites will prove effective in the catalytic breakdown of halogenated compounds such as trichloroethylene (TCE).


The technical approach combines the simplicity and affordability of the sol-gel processing techniques for ceramic synthesis with the efficiency and spontaneity of surfactant/silica cooperative assembly to manufacture nanostructured catalysts using a simple aerosol processing technique. By incorporating iron precursors, we are able to fabricate hollow silica shells containing zerovalent iron nanoparticles. The porosity of these composites can be adjusted. These composites will be chemically functionalized and their efficacy in the catalytic breakdown of a model DNAPL (trichloroethylene, TCE) will be studied. The research will involve batch experimentation and column elution experiments.

Expected Results:

The research will lead to a remediation technology where novel nanostructured supported catalysts are fabricated for efficient destruction of chlorinated organics. These nanostructured particles can be used in groundwater remediation technologies.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 26 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

zerovalent iron, trichloroethylene, DNAPL, aerosol, remediation., RFA, Scientific Discipline, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, Remediation, Sustainable Environment, Environmental Chemistry, Technology, Restoration, Analytical Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, DNAPL, in situ remediation, remediation technologies, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, catalysts, reductive degradation of hazardous organics, zero valent iron nanoparticles, groundwater remediation, aquifer remediation design, degradation rates, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, groundwater contamination, reductive dechlorination, hazardous organics, innovative technologies, pollution prevention, contaminated aquifers, groundwater, TCE, groundwater pollution

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007
  • 2008 Progress Report
  • Final Report