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Columbia University

Superfund Research Program

Enhanced Remediation at U.S. Arsenic-Contaminated Sites

Project Leader: Benjamin C. Bostick
Co-Investigator: Steven N. Chillrud
Grant Number: P42ES010349
Funding Period: 2000-2021

Project-Specific Links

Project Summary (2017-2021)

Groundwater arsenic contamination is both pervasive and difficult to remediate. The researcher’s previous studies indicate that in situ magnetite formation forms a diffuse barrier capable of long-term As retention. The overarching goals of this project within the Columbia University Superfund Research Program Center are to develop an enhanced remediation technology that produces magnetite in situ to form a reactive barrier that sustains low arsenic concentrations both in the laboratory and in field trials.

The researcher’s aims include a series of laboratory-based and field-based experiments to (1) optimize and (2) implement magnetite-based remediation approaches in the field. The laboratory-based aims are designed to develop an improved understanding of the fundamental processes to maximize the potential of magnetite-based approaches to remediation. This information can be used to develop models that account for mineralogical and solution composition changes that effectively predict As fate and transport.

The researchers will then use these models to design pilot remediation efforts at the US Geological Service research site on Cape Cod and the Lot 86 Superfund site on the North Carolina State University. Field-based investigations at these two heterogeneous contaminated sites will characterize both background conditions and magnetite formation mechanisms to build on laboratory data, refine reactive transport models, and develop a "remediation toolbox" to facilitate robust designs of site-specific remediation strategies.

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