A New Class of Nanocomposite Treatment Media for Efficient Mercury Remediation
Mercury remediation in contaminated sites throughout the United States is currently being addressed by a variety of techniques, including the use of sorbents. Although a variety of sorbent materials for capturing mercury in contaminated water are available commercially, there is an opportunity to drastically increase the efficiency of the adsorption process, thereby lowering cost and remediation time. The ideal sorbent material also should counter the effects of competing ions and dissolved solids, which tend to lower the sorbent¿s effectiveness. This project will develop a nanoparticle-based material that makes the reaction sites highly accessible to the mercury ions for efficient and fast removal. At the same time, the nanocomposite material will be amenable as a retrofit in existing treatment process equipment. Phase I will include a comparison between the proposed nanocomposite media and currently used sorbents and other treatment technologies. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: An estimated 300,000 contaminated sites exist in the United States, with an estimated cleanup cost exceeding $200 billion over the next 25 years. Capturing mercury from contaminated soil and water is a major component of the treatment process. The nanocomposite treatment media should be a superior sorbent to currently used technologies. The technology also should find use in other water treatment processes.
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