Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Toxic Metals From Contaminated Groundwater

EPA Grant Number: U916231
Title: Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Toxic Metals From Contaminated Groundwater
Investigators: Jones, Aaryn D.
Institution: Duke University
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 2003 through January 1, 2006
Project Amount: $168,936
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2003) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Chemistry and Materials Science


In many parts of the world, removal of toxic metals from drinking water is a growing necessity. The objective of this research project is to offer a one-step solution in the removal of several toxic metals at once through extractions using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2).


Fluorinated chelating agents with specific affinities for each metal could be added to the aqueous slurry to facilitate the extraction of the metals into the scCO2 phase. This process should be rapid, and it will result in very little waste production. With the correct combination of chelating agents and the appropriate temperature and pressure scCO2 extraction conditions, the toxic metals found in contaminated groundwater could feasibly be removed from the aqueous phase in one step, resulting in clean drinking water and using an environmentally friendly extraction process.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, groundwater, drinking water, extraction, toxic metals, contaminated groundwater, metals removal, supercritical carbon dioxide., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Chemicals, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, supercritical carbon dioxide, drinking water contaminants, drinking water treatment, contaminant removal, groundwater, heavy metals

Relevant Websites:

2004 STAR Graduate Fellowship Conference Poster (PDF, 1p., 124KB, about PDF)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2003
  • 2004
  • Final