Innovative zero-valent iron-based nano materials for water treatment and site restoration

Erick R. Bandala, Jaeyun Moon
Desert Research Institute, Nevada, United States

Keywords: nanomaterials, water treatment, site restoration, AOPs

Zero-valent iron (ZVI) has been widely reported for environmental remediation in the last two decades. In the last few years, the performance of nanoscale ZVI (nZVI) has captured interest as a promising method for environmental remediation, particularly contaminants in aqueous solutions. One of the main drawbacks, and a significant limitation for its use, is nZVI tendency to agglomerate causing pressure drops in conventional systems and lack of durability and mechanical strength. The main approach to overcome these drawbacks is nZVI immobilization on porous solids. We have developed and characterized a line of customized nZVI-related products embedded in different porous materials (e.g., silica, activated carbon, biochar) for various applications in water treatment and site restoration. From the experimental results collected so far, the materials are highly stable, active and reusable and possess the capability to carrying out advanced oxidation/reduction processes for the removal of organic contaminants in water, enhancing adsorption in carbon-related materials, promoting reduction of chlorinated solvents, perfluorinated compounds and nitrate in ground water. Further development in site restoration as removal of metals or gas/oil derivatives in soil will be developed in the near future, as well as its application for drinking water treatment in disaster relief use.