Superfund Research Program
- 347 - High-Temperature Biochar for Arsenic Remediation -- Duckworth
Release Date: 11/01/2023
Adding biochar produced at a high temperature may be an effective way to immobilize arsenic in sediment, according to researchers partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). The study, led by Owen Duckworth, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center, in partnership with researchers from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Brazil, also provided further insight into the conditions that influenced the effectiveness of biochar for soil remediation.
- 341 - Fighting Fluorine with Fluorine: New Materials Remove PFAS from Groundwater -- May
Release Date: 05/03/2023
Researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) created a novel class of materials that can attract and remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water. According to the authors, the new technology — called Fluor Mop — can be regenerated, reused, and is potentially less expensive than current remediation strategies.
- 340 - Mimicking Molecules Made by Bacteria to Remove Metals From Water -- Maier
Release Date: 04/05/2023
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded scientists developed a method to extract metals from water using synthetic molecules inspired by those produced by bacteria. The biodegradable molecules, called rhamnolipids, could one day be used to remove toxic metals or extract rare and valuable elements from aqueous mining and industrial waste.
- 338 - Combining Analytical Chemistry and Machine Learning to Detangle Mixtures -- Halas
Release Date: 02/01/2023
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers demonstrated a significant step toward identifying individual chemical components in complex mixtures. Their approach uses advanced analytical techniques and sophisticated machine learning approaches while overcoming the time-consuming separation steps that preceded traditional chemical analysis.
- 330 - Study Sheds Light on Breakdown Products of PCBs in the Environment -- Hornbuckle
Release Date: 06/01/2022
NIEHS Superfund Research program (SRP) grantees discovered toxic breakdown products of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in contaminated sediments at proportionally higher levels than found in commercial PCB mixtures. According to the team, these findings point to environmental processes, such as metabolism by animals, plants, or bacteria, in generating the harmful chemicals.
- 326 - New Technique Yields Promising Results for Uranium Removal in the Field -- Boxley, Maier
Release Date: 02/02/2022
A technology developed by NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers may remove uranium and other heavy metals from groundwater near abandoned mines. Small business GlycoSurf, LLC worked with partners at the University of Arizona SRP Center to determine the best environmental conditions for effectively removing uranium from contaminated water.
- 325 - Biosensor Helps Characterize Contaminants and Health Risks Following Disasters -- Unger, Knap
Release Date: 01/05/2022
A sophisticated biosensor may provide information about contaminant distribution in the aftermath of natural disasters, according to an NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study. Led by former Texas A&M University (TAMU) SRP Center trainee Krisa Camargo and Michael Unger, Ph.D., from the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, the team demonstrated this type of tool is useful for quickly characterizing and prioritizing environmental samples for further analysis, particularly in the context of disaster research response.
- 319 - Analyzing Chemicals and Genes Yields Novel Insight into PAH Behavior -- Simonich
Release Date: 07/07/2021
A new NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study revealed how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) breakdown and transform in the presence of ultraviolet A (UVA) light and titanium dioxide nanoparticle pollutants. Their findings have important implications for PAH cleanup, which may not consider how PAHs transform in diverse environments.
- 318 - Combined Approach Sheds Light on Factors Controlling Stream Recovery -- Clements
Release Date: 06/02/2021
Improved water quality and stream ecosystem recovery following treatment of mine waste depends on a mix of physical, chemical, and biological factors, according to a new study funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) at the Colorado School of Mines. William Clements, Ph.D., professor at Colorado State University, and two doctoral students, led the study.
- 315 - Modeling and Field Tests Yield Promising Results for Aquifer Clean Up -- Christenson, Comfort
Release Date: 03/03/2021
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees have developed novel, slow-release oxidant-paraffin candles that dissolve and degrade chlorinated contaminants in underground aquifers. The grant recipient, small business AirLift Environmental, worked with partners at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to optimize this groundwater clean-up method and demonstrated its effectiveness in a field study.
- 311 - Edible Sorbents May Protect Against Metal Toxicity -- Phillips
Release Date: 11/04/2020
A new study from NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center researchers suggests that edible sorbents may be an effective treatment to reduce heavy metal exposure from consumption of contaminated water and food. According to the researchers, this is the first evidence that edible sorbents can bind heavy metal mixtures and protect against their toxicity in a living organism.
- 309 - Treating Water with Chemical Oxidation May Produce Harmful By-Products -- Sedlak
Release Date: 09/02/2020
Chemical oxidation is a process commonly used to treat water contaminated with aromatic compounds like benzene. But, unexpected and potentially harmful breakdown products may result from this treatment process, according to a recent study from the NIEHS-funded University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program Center.
- 304 - Electrochemical System Degrades PCE in Groundwater -- Alshawabkeh
Release Date: 04/01/2020
An electrochemical system can effectively break down tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in groundwater, according to a new study from the NIEHS-funded Northeastern University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center. After testing different design parameters to determine the best conditions for degrading PCE, the researchers achieved 86% removal of the contaminant from groundwater sources.
- 292 - Nitrous Oxide Halts Breakdown of Chlorinated Compounds -- Loeffler
Release Date: 04/03/2019
A new Superfund Research Program (SRP) study showed that nitrous oxide (N2O), a groundwater contaminant commonly generated from agricultural runoff, inhibits bacterial degradation of certain chlorinated contaminants, including tetrachloroethene (PCE). The study may explain why bioremediation, or the use of bacteria to break down compounds, can stall at some hazardous waste sites.
- 290 - Promising Membrane Technology Reduces Chlorobenzene in Groundwater -- Alshawabkeh, Bhattacharyya
Release Date: 02/13/2019
A new Superfund Research Program collaboration has developed a promising groundwater cleanup technology that provides an efficient, low-maintenance method of removing chlorobenzene and other compounds from water. The method integrates electrochemical oxidation, which uses electricity to transform contaminants into non-toxic substances, and membranes containing palladium (Pd), a metal used as a catalyst in many industrial chemical synthesis applications and groundwater treatment.