Detoxification of Metal-Contaminated Industrial Effluents Using Shellfish Processing Wastes

EPA Grant Number: U914984
Title: Detoxification of Metal-Contaminated Industrial Effluents Using Shellfish Processing Wastes
Investigators: Tudor, Helen E.A.
Institution: Columbia University in the City of New York
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Materials Engineering , Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


The objective of this research project is to develop a rapid, efficient, and cost-effective process for the removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewaters.


The underlying strategy of this project is to use two industrial waste products, both characterized as pollutants, in a manner which would neutralize each other's environmentally deleterious effects. Specifically, we will utilize shell wastes recovered from shellfish processors as "secondary raw materials" to adsorb dissolved metals found in high concentrations in industrial effluents, at Superfund sites, and from soil-washing operations, and producing a compact, pH-stable, "pelletized" residue for easy disposal. While maintaining or improving on current discharge requirements, the process developed is aimed to be practiced on a small or large scale and could be used either alone or in concert with other existing treatment technologies.

After minimal processing of shellfish exoskeletons and subsequent reactions with selected metal salt solutions, kinetics of metal uptake and sorption isotherms are determined. Metal extraction efficiency is compared as a function of shell, metal, initial metal oxidation state, and concentration. Also planned are tTests with multi-metal solutions also are planned. Several analytical tools are being used to elucidate the extraction process, and to develop mechanistic predictive models: atomic absorption analysis (AA), x-ray diffraction, SEMscanning electron microscopy, and STEMscanning transmission electron microscopy, and gas adsorption (BET method) for specific surface area determinations.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, heavy metals, industrial wastewater, detoxification, industrial effluent, effluent, shellfish processing wastes, metal uptake, sorption, absorption analysis, x-ray diffraction, gas adsorption, scanning electron microscopy, SEM, scanning transmission electron microscopy, STEM., Scientific Discipline, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Chemicals, Environmental Engineering, industrial wastewater, detoxification, Superfund sites, kinetic studies, alternative technology, shellfish processing wastes, wastewater discharges, effluents, metals removal, heavy metals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final