Advanced Polymer Material for Metal-Contaminated Soil Remediation
Small Business Information
111 Downey St, Norwood, MA, 02062
AbstractToxic heavy metals, such as Pb, Cd and Cr, have been identified in the soil on Army firing ranges and around industrial sites which can contaminate the ground water and present a inhalation and digestion hazard. New technologies are needed for cost effective environmental restoration of these sites. The proposed research addresses these challenges by developing a new class of water soluble polymers functionalized with groups with a strong affinity for the heavy metals. When solutions of the polymer are passed through the soil, the metals will be stripped from the soil by binding to the polymer. The polymer is designed to pass through the soil without being absorbed. The solution collected with the metal-loaded polymer is then treated ex situ to release the metal from the polymer. The metal is then recovered and the polymer recycled. The water solubility, metal binding ability, and high molecular weight but compact structure of the polymer give the material unique capabilities for removal of heavy metals from the soil. In Phase I, examples of the polymers will be synthesized and their effectiveness in removing metals from contaminated soil will be evaluated. The new materials will offer substantial cost savings relative to current soil remediation practice. Other applications include wastewater treatment and metal recovery of sludge from the metal finishing and electroplating industries. In addition, mining industries can also use these materials in an enrichment process to collect precious and strategic metals.
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