Multifunctional colloidal particles for in situ remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons
American Chemical Society
Environmental Science & Technology, 43(22), 8616–8621
John, Vijay T.
McPherson, Gary L.
Effective in situ injection technology for the remediation of dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE) requires the use of decontamination agents that effectively migrate through the soil media and react efficiently with dissolved TCE and bulk TCE. We describe the use of a novel decontamination system containing highly uniform carbon microspheres in the optimal size range for transport through the soil. The microspheres are enveloped in a polyelectrolyte (carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC) to which a bimetallic nanoparticle system of zero-valent iron and Pd is attached. The carbon serves as a strong adsorbent to TCE, while the bimetallic nanoparticle system provides the reactive component. The polyelectrolyte serves to stabilize the carbon microspheres in aqueous solution. The overall system resembles a colloidal micelle with a hydrophilic shell (polyelectrolyte coating) and hard hydrophobic core (carbon). In contact with bulk TCE, there is a sharp partitioning of the system to the TCE side of the interface due to the hydrophobicity of the core. These multifunctional systems appear to satisfy criteria related to remediation and are made with potentially environmentally benign materials.