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Final Progress Reports: University of California-Davis: Transport, Transformation, and Remediation of Contaminants in the Environment

Superfund Research Program

Transport, Transformation, and Remediation of Contaminants in the Environment

Project Leader: Kate M. Scow
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 1995-2015
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2014  2009  2004  1999 

High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) has enormous potential to rapidly identify emerging contaminants and their potential byproducts commonly found in organic wastes and in reactors treating these wastes. Using HRMS for detection, a novel advanced oxidation pilot scale reactor was tested under different conditions to identify those that maximized potential removal of over 2500 contaminants and 90 by products. Biochar is stable, carbon-rich material produced by pyrolysis of organic waste materials and can be used in remediation of contaminants in soil. Adding biochar to soil that was amended with biosolids containing tricolosan and triclocarbon reduced uptake of both chemicals into lettuce and carrots. Dust generation trials revealed significant generation of fine soil and biochar particles at low soil moisture contents and bioassays measured potential toxicity to humans of these airborne materials. Groundwater contaminant plumes often migrate at faster rates than expected, based on groundwater models, and take far longer (e.g., by 10 to 100 times) to clean up than expected. Dr. Scow and her research team developed new hydrogeologic theory explaining how recalcitrance of contaminants to clean-up stems from the presence of low permeability materials that can sequester contaminants for long periods of time. Existing groundwater contaminant transport models were modified to include new theory and are being used to assess effects of contaminant sources (from surface or deeper subsurface such as fracking) on sustainability of drinking water sources.

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