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Laboratory and Field Investigations to Determine the Chemical Factors Affecting Zinc and Iron Transport at an Industrial Waste FacilityEPA Grant Number: GF9501743
Title: Laboratory and Field Investigations to Determine the Chemical Factors Affecting Zinc and Iron Transport at an Industrial Waste Facility
Investigators: Chasey, Michael L.
Institution: College of William and Mary
EPA Project Officer: Broadway, Virginia
Project Period: July 1, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $25,150
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Chemistry
The purpose of this project is to investigate the sources and mechanisms for the mobilization and release of iron into the environment surrounding a large industrial landfill site. Since the common form of aqueous iron (Fe(III)) is relatively insoluble under normal conditions, this study attempts to address the chemical form of the iron in the landfill, and how the iron is mobilized from the landfill and released into the neighboring dredge spoils area. The hypotheses to be tested include: 1) release of iron from natural leaching of native pyrite, 2) release of iron from native clays through cation exchange with zinc that is leaching from the landfill, and 3 ) reduction and dissolution of Fe(III) to soluble Fe(II) by organic matter which is microbially-mediated. The methods used under this study will include controlled laboratory experiments that emulate landfill processes, combined with a detailed characterization of the landfill and native material. The laboratory analysis includes taking core samples from the landfill and native material and pumping laboratory controlled solutions at a controlled rate through the cores. Metal analysis of laboratory leachate and groundwater samples fro the landfill site will be evaluated using inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometry, and mineralogical examinations of the landfill and native material will be performed using Z-ray diffraction methods to test the hypotheses of the source of iron. In addition, field measurements of redox potentials will be taken and laboratory analysis of total organic content will be performed. The results of this study should help identify the basic mechanisms controlling the environmental fate of zinc and iron at this site and will assist in the design of a remediation strategy which can more effectively address the source of this contamination.