Nanoscale Bimetallic Particles for In Situ Remediation

EPA Grant Number: R829625
Title: Nanoscale Bimetallic Particles for In Situ Remediation
Investigators: Zhang, Wei-xian
Institution: Lehigh University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2005 (Extended to April 30, 2006)
Project Amount: $300,000
RFA: Exploratory Research: Nanotechnology (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Nanotechnology , Safer Chemicals


Nanoscale bimetallic (Fe/Pd, 99.9% Fe) particles are among the vanguard of a new generation of remediation technologies that could provide cost-effective remedial solutions to some of the most difficult sites. Nanoparticles feature large surface areas and extremely high surface reactivity. Equally important, they provide enormous flexibility for in situ remedial applications. The primary goal of this research is to continue the research and development of the nanoscale bimetallic particle technology for in situ remediation. Specific objectives include (1) optimization and scale-up of the synthetic method(s) to facilitate the rapid and cost-effective production of nanoparticles for large-scale field applications, (2) extension of the technology by expanding the scope of amenable contaminants to include perchlorate and toxic metals (e.g. Cr(VI)), and (3) investigation of transport, reactions and long-term performance with various chlorinated organic compounds and heavy metal ions.


Several key technical issues of the nanoscale bimetallic particle technology will be investigated, the most important being the optimization and scaleup of the synthesis processes. We plan to build a system with the capacity to synthesize 500-1,000 grams of nanoparticles per day. Major experimental tasks include: (1) synthesis of various nanoscale particles (Fe/Pd, Fe/Ag, Fe/Ni, Fe/Co, Fe/Cu etc), (2) feasibility studies (batch and column) of treatment of perchlorate (ClO4-) and chromium (Cr(VI)) with various nanoparticles, (3) batch and column studies of treatment of mixed wastes including organic solvents and heavy metals, and (4) modeling and column studies of injection, transport and reactions of nanoparticles in porous media.

Expected Results:

The results of this research will provide insight and information that is essential for 1) cost effective production of the nanoparticles in large quantity; 2) potential applications of the nanoparticles for in situ remediation; and 3) education of students in environmental nanotechnologies. We truly believe that the nanoscale size and high reactivity of the nanoscale bimetallic particles towards an array of high-profile environmental contaminants represent strong justification for further research and development of this technology.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 111 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 14 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, groundwater, soil, VOC, DNAPL, solvents, heavy metals, nanoparticles., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, Physics, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Restoration, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, industrial wastewater, waste reduction, detoxification, in situ remediation, membranes, remediation technologies, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, reductive degradation of hazardous organics, catalytic studies, nanocatalysts, groundwater remediation, aquifer remediation design, degradation rates, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, acuatic ecosystems, sustainability, groundwater contamination, reductive dechlorination, hazardous organics, bimetallic particles, innovative technologies, pollution prevention, contaminated aquifers, ultrafiltration, membrane-based nanostructured metals, metal removal, groundwater pollution, membrane technology, recycle, reductive detoxification

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final Report