Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020IL214B

Low cost mycelial stabilization of coal combustion products to reduce As, and Se contamination of groundwater

Institute: Illinois
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $9,988 Total Non-Federal Funds: $21,608

Principal Investigators: Dr. Linduo Zhao

Abstract: This proposal seeks to stabilize coal combustion products through encapsulation in a fungalmatrix and thereby prevent groundwater contamination by arsenic and selenium. While fungi havebeen effective in treating various contaminants, its application to mitigate pollution from coalcombustion products is limited. Our preliminary results show that mycelial encapsulation is veryeffective in reducing As and Se leaching from fly ash. This 1-year proposal seeks to further (a)define the culture conditions for effective mycelial encapsulation of coal combustion products and(b) assess the arsenic and selenium leachability from mycelia encapsulated coal combustionproducts under realistic groundwater conditions. Two students are expected to be trained duringthe project period. The results, if successful, will be disclosed to the Office of TechnologyManagement, UIUC, to State legislators through the PRI Coal Ash Response Team, and otherstakeholders. We will initiate discussions on how to adapt and modify the technology for fieldlevel application through collaboration with colleagues with expertise in groundwater modelingand geotechnical engineering expertise.