2008 Progress Report: 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 Period Covered by this Report: August 1, 2007 through July 31,2008
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



Progress Summary:

The widespread occurrence of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) such as the chlorinated hydrocarbons in groundwater and in soil is of serious environmental concern. These contaminants transport rapidly in the subsurface to create a contaminant plume as a result of vertical migration due to their higher density than water. In recent years, the use of zero-valent iron nanoparticles has represented a promising and innovative approach to the destruction of these compounds. But iron nanoparticles aggregate and it is very difficult to deliver these nanoparticles to the site of decontamination.
Our research is directed towards the development of novel mesoporous materials that act as supports for zerovalent iron nanoparticles used in the breakdown of chlorinated compounds. Our technology is an environmental equivalent of targeted drug delivery where the particles are designed to efficiently transport through the sediment to the contaminated sites. Upon reaching the contaminated sites, the particles stabilize at the organic-water interface and allow reaction to occur to break down the contaminants. The following graphic illustrates the concept. We use submicron particles of porous silica containing iron nanoparticles. These silica particles (shown by the sphere – the iron nanoparticles are the little cubes) are functionalized with alkyl groups (the string like materials). When moving through water, the alkyl groups stay close to the silica surface. But on reaching the organic phase, the alkyl groups extend out to stabilize the particle.
The concept works well and we have been successful at publishing the work. One Ph.D thesis has resulted and a second student (Jingjing Zhan) is working on his Ph.D in the area.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 26 publications 7 publications in selected types All 5 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Zhan J, Zheng T, Piringer G, Day C, McPherson GL, Lu Y, Papadopoulos K, John VT. Transport characteristics of nanoscale functional zerovalent iron/silica composites for in situ remediation of trichloroethylene. Environmental Science & Technology 2008;42(23):8871-8876. GR832374 (2008)
GR832374 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: ACS Publications-Abstract
  • Journal Article Zheng T, Pang J, Tan G, He J, McPherson GL, Lu Y, John VT, Zhan J. Surfactant templating effects on the encapsulation of iron oxide nanoparticles within silica microspheres. Langmuir 2007;23(9):5143-5147. GR832374 (2006)
    GR832374 (2008)
    GR832374 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: ACS Publications-Abstract
  • Journal Article Zheng T, Zhan J, He J, Day C, Lu Y, McPherson GL, Piringer G, John VT. Reactivity characteristics of nanoscale zerovalent iron–silica composites for trichloroethylene remediation. Environmental Science & Technology 2008;42(12):4494-4499. GR832374 (2008)
    GR832374 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: ACS Publications-Abstract
  • Supplemental Keywords:

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

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007
  • Final Report