State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012NJ313B
Title: Reductive Dehalogenation of Brominated Organic Compounds by Nano FeS Particles
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: NJ-006
Focus Categories: Toxic Substances, Treatment, Water Quality
Keywords: halogenated organic contaminants, iron sulfide
Principal Investigators: Steiner, Cynthia; Huang, Weilin
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,001
Abstract: Iron sulfide (FeS) is a common solid widely found in anaerobic freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. Prior studies showed that FeS is variously reactive with chlorinated aliphatics such as trichloroethylene and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane. However, these prior studies used FeS particles of micron sizes synthesized chemically in the lab. In this study, we hypothesized that biogenic FeS found in anaerobic sediments is of nano sizes and is more reactive than FeS of micron sizes. In this proof of concept study, we will prepare nano FeS particles from chemically synthesized micron FeS particles using a high speed ball mill method. Tetrabromobisphenol A and brominated benzenes will be used as target organic contaminants. Batch reactor systems will be used to qualify rates of debromination for the target organic contaminants using both nano and micron FeS particles. Both particles will be characterized before and after reactions. If the results are consistent with our hypothesis, we will seek external funding for supporting a research program for systematically characterizing biogenic nano FeS particles and quantifying their reactivities with halogenated organic contaminants. The study could provide both insight to natural attenuation processes and technological justification for in situ bioaugmentation for sediments contaminated with halogenated organic pollutants.

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