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Project ID:2006PR28B

Title: Use of Waste Tire Crumb Rubber to Remove Inorganic (Arsenic, Mercury) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Species from Aqueous Solutions

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District:

Focus Categories: Treatment, Toxic Substances, Water Quality

Keywords: water treatment, water quality, heavy metals, organic compounds

Principal Investigators: Perales-Perez, Oscar J (University of Puerto Rico); Roman, Felix

Federal Funds: $20,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $6,100

Abstract: The present proposal deals with the detailed study of the sorption capability of waste tire crumb rubber for inorganic, such as Hg and As ionic species and PAHs compounds of environmental concern. We propose to investigate not only the conditions leading to maximization of uptake capacity and sorption rate, (including chemical activation of rubber particles as a pre-treatment to enhance its sorption capability) but also the conditions to re-extract the contaminants (desorption), a factor of critical importance to determine the potential use of the proposed sorbent on a large scale remediation application. The present remediation option is based on the presence of carbon black, zinc oxide, and sulfur in crumb rubber, with potential capability to absorb/adsorb hazardous species from water or gaseous streams. This fact has been verified in preliminary results reported in our previous works where the very efficient removal of inorganic Cu(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) as well as organic BTEX (ethylbenzene, xylene, toluene) species have been demonstrated. Sorbent waste tire crumb rubber will be kindly provided by Rubber Recycling and Manufacturing Corp., REMA, a Puerto Rican company that produces crumb rubber at different particle sizes from scrap tires.

The applicability of waste tire crumb rubber as a sorbent will expand the recycling options for this material towards the treatment of polluted streams and remediation of contaminated soils where eventual superficial or underground water streams could mobilize the contaminants into the aqueous phase. Based on the results from batch tests, process development options including filter beds or columns containing packed crumb rubber, can be proposed. The results of this investigation would benefit directly the crumb-rubber recycling industry on the Island (e.g., REMA, Inc) and represent a new option for the local and federal government agencies dealing with the solid waste management and treatment of waste water or contaminated soils (e.g., Autoridad de Desperdicios Sólidos, Junta de Calidad Ambiental, EPA). Furthermore, the students working for this project will get hands-on training to improve their job opportunities in the area of recycling and environmental remediation, and will in turn contribute to the consolidation of a "green-culture" and related educational efforts in Puerto Rico. Based on the technical and social importance of the two involved fields (cleaning of polluted water and gas streams and recycling of waste tires crumb rubber), the national impact of the present work becomes evident.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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