Superfund Research Program
Chloro-Organic Degradation by Polymer Membrane Immobilized Iron-Based Particle Systems
Project Leader: Dibakar Bhattacharyya
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2000-2019
Principal Investigator Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., and his research team have developed various reactive nanostructured and temperature responsive membrane platforms. Commercial polymeric microfiltration membranes were modified with reactive nanoparticles (10-30 nm), 60 nm nanoporous catalytic palladium (Pd) films, and graphene-based materials. Pd-Iron (Fe) nanostructured membranes exhibited over 90 percent removal of chlorinated organics, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), from contaminated groundwater (with Arcadis Corp.), and over 98 percent degradation of 2-chlorobiphenyl (Wan et al, 2020). The regeneration and reuse of reactive membranes was achieved in the on-site tests. Reaction kinetics, longevity and morphology of sulfidized Fe and Pd-Fe nanoparticles were studied in relation to the reductive degradation of CCl4 (Wan, et al, submitted 2020). Temperature responsive membranes and hydrogels were also synthesized to produce poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) in the membrane pores. These functionalized membranes can control the adsorption or desorption of toxic perfluoroorganics by changing the temperature from 22 C to 35 C (Saad et al, 2020). Nanoporous Pd films were also fabricated by physical vapor deposition and dealloying, which showed improved organic separation performance and removed over 70 percent PCB 1 from solution with high flux (Detisch et al, submitted 2020). A reactive multifunctional graphene-based platform was synthesized, which showed 60 percent oxidation of TCE (30 ppm feed) by catalyzing persulfate mediated oxidative reactions and exhibited simultaneous removal of natural organic matter (80 percent) and lignin-based molecules by exclusion mechanisms (Aher et al, 2019 & Aher et al, 2020). In an extension of research translation work with industry (Chevron Corp.), membranes with thiol functionalities were synthesized for capturing mercury from industrial waste water (Hernández et al, 2019).