State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012MA346B
Title: Biopolymer Sorbents for Tungsten Removal
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Treatment, Groundwater, Toxic Substances
Keywords: chitosan, tungsten, biopolymer, nanoparticle, water treatment
Principal Investigator: Schiffman, Jessica D
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,052
Abstract: High levels of tungsten were recently detected in Massachusetts Military Reservation groundwater. This prompted the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense to declare the metal as an emerging contaminant. This project aims to design and synthesize the renewable biopolymer chitosan into novel nano-constructs that will efficiently remove tungsten from dilute aqueous solutions. Undergraduate students will systematically identify the sorption properties and mechanisms for an assortment of chemically and physically modified chitosans. By varying the chemistry and morphology of the chitosans, tungsten will be adsorbed at maximum capacity. This study will enable the development of tungsten sorbents from the environmentally friendly biopolymer chitosan. Additionally, undergraduate students will be afforded with an opportunity to conduct scientific research: they will review primary literature, formulate hypotheses, interpret data, and communicate their results.

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