Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,001
Principal Investigators: Cynthia Steiner, Weilin Huang
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.