2002 Progress Report: 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 Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2003
Project Amount: $300,000
RFA: Exploratory Research: Nanotechnology (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Nanotechnology , Safer Chemicals


The goal of this research project is to continue the research and development of the nanoscale bimetallic particle technology for in situ remediation. Specific objectives include: (1) optimization 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 (ClO4-) 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.

Progress Summary:

Our work during Year 1 of the project further testifies that nanoscale iron particles are effective for the transformation and detoxification of a wide variety of common environmental contaminants. For example, we have observed for the first time the near complete reduction of ClO4- to chloride by nanoscale iron particles. The nanoparticles also reduce chlorate (ClO3-), chlorite (ClO2-), and hypochlorite (ClO-) to chloride. We also made important progress in understanding the nanoparticle reactions with organochlorine pesticides. In this work, laboratory-synthesized particles of nanoscale iron were used to degrade lindane, a widely utilized pesticide, in batch reactors. In general, the lindane disappeared from solution within 24 hours in the presence of nanoiron concentrations ranging from 0.015 g/L to 0.39 g/L. In another work, laboratory batch experiments were conducted on heavily contaminated groundwater and soil samples to determine the rate and extent of hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]) reduction and immobilization using nanoscale iron particles. The surface area normalized reaction rate constant of Cr(VI) reduction by nanoscale iron particles was 0.157 ± 0.018 mgm-2min-1, about 25 times greater than that by iron filings (100 mesh). The reduction capacity was between 50 and 70 times greater than that of iron filings under the same experimental conditions.

Future Activities:

Work for Year 2 of the project will be focused on the following: (1) chemistry of dechlorination of chlorinated aromatic compounds; (2) hydrodynamics of nanoparticles in porous media; and (3) a field test of the iron nanoparticles for in situ remediation.

Journal Articles on this Report : 5 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 111 publications 20 publications in selected types All 14 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Cao J, Elliott D, Zhang W. Kinetics of perchlorate reduction by nanoscale iron particles. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. R829625 (2002)
not available
Journal Article Cao J, Zhang W. Reduction and immobilization of hexavalent chromium in groundwater and soil with nanoscale iron particles. Environmental Progress. R829625 (2002)
not available
Journal Article Glazier R, Venkatakrishnan R, Gheorghiu F, Walata L, Nash R, Zhang W-X. Nanotechnology takes roots. Civil Engineering-ASCE 2003;73(5):64-69. R829625 (2002)
R829625 (2003)
R829625 (Final)
  • Abstract: ASCE
  • Journal Article Masciangioli T, Zhang W-X. Environmental technologies at the nanoscale. Environmental Science & Technology 2003;37(5):102A-108A. R829625 (2002)
    R829625 (2003)
    R829625 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: ACS PDF
  • Abstract: ACS
  • Journal Article Zhang W-X. Nanoscale iron particles for environmental remediation: an overview. Journal of Nanoparticle Research 2003;5(3-4):323-332. R829625 (2002)
    R829625 (2003)
    R829625 (Final)
  • Full-text: Lehigh University
  • Abstract: Springer
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    water, groundwater, soil, volatile organic compound, VOC, dense nonaqueous phase liquid, 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, waste reduction, detoxification, industrial wastewater, in situ remediation, membranes, remediation technologies, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, reductive degradation of hazardous organics, nanocatalysts, catalytic studies, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, aquifer remediation design, groundwater remediation, acuatic ecosystems, degradation rates, sustainability, reductive dechlorination, hazardous organics, bimetallic particles, groundwater contamination, innovative technologies, ultrafiltration, membrane-based nanostructured metals, pollution prevention, contaminated aquifers, membrane technology, reductive detoxification, recycle, transition metal carbides, metal removal

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final Report