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Synthesis and Application of a New Class of Stabilized Nanoscale Iron Particles for Rapid Destruction of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in Soil and Groundwater

Dongye (Don) Zhao
Auburn University, Auburn, AL

The overall goal of this research is to develop a cost-effective, in situ remediation technology that employs a new class of dispersed iron-based nanoparticles for the rapid destruction of chlorinated hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater. The specific objectives are to: (1) synthesize a new class of stabilized iron-based nanoparticles using low-cost and "green" stabilizers such as starches and celluloses; (2) test the effectiveness of the stabilized nanoparticles for dechlorination of select contaminants (TCE and PCBs) in soil and groundwater; and (3) test the feasibility of an in situ remediation process that is based on the nanoparticles.

Our preliminary data showed that a water-soluble or sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) can serve as the dispersant to stabilize palladized iron (Fe-Pd) nanoparticles. Compared to non-stabilized Fe-Pd particles, the stabilized nanoparticles displayed markedly improved physical stability, soil dispersibility, chemical reactivity, and reactive longevity. Column tests showed that the stabilized nanoparticles can be readily dispersed in a loamy-sand soil and then be recovered completely. Batch dechlorination tests demonstrated that the CMC-stabilized nanoparticles degraded TCE 29 times faster than non-stabilized counterparts based on the pseudo first-order rate constant.

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