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Project ID:2006NJ99B

Title: Enhancing the remediation of Trichloroethene (TCE) using double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT)

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 6th

Focus Categories: Water Quality, Water Quantity, Groundwater

Keywords: trichloroethene (TCE), groundwater contaminants, Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), remediation, biodetoxification, Carbon nanotubes, Sequestration, anaerobic dehalorespiring bacteria, bioavailability

Principal Investigators: Kannepalli, Sarat; Fennell, Donna E.

Federal Funds: $5,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $10,893

Abstract: The chlorinated organic solvent trichloroethene (TCE) is one of the most commonly detected groundwater contaminants (1). Widespread application in vapor degreasing of fabricated metal parts (80% use) and in the production of organic chemicals and pharmaceuticals (5% use), resulted in increased production from 260,000 lbs in 1981 to 320 million lbs in 1991 (2). The low viscosity, low interfacial tension with water, high volatility and existence as a non-aqueous-phase liquid make many physical and chemical methods of TCE remediation either ineffective or uneconomical. Furthermore, many hydro-geologic formations make remediation difficult. Reliable, cost effective methods for remediation of TCE contaminated groundwater are still needed. The proposed research aims to combine chemical-physical concentration and sequestration using carbon nanotubes and subsequent biodetoxification by dechlorinating bacteria to increase the efficiency of TCE removal from groundwater. The specific objectives of this study are two-fold: (1) What is the sorptive capacity of double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT) for TCE? and (2) Is carbon nanotube-sequestered TCE bioavailable to dehalogenating bacteria? We hypothesize that TCE sorbed on DWNT is bioavailable to bacteria and this sorption/concentration may increase the dechlorinating efficiency of the bacteria. If feasible, a more efficient remediation technology for TCE contaminated groundwater may be developed.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 03, 2008
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