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Opportunity at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

In Situ Remediation of Contaminants in Ground Water and Soils Using Permeable Reactive Barriers

Location

National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division

RO# Location
22.03.05.B0454 Ada, OK 748201198

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Wilkin, Richard wilkin.rick@epa.gov 580.436.8874

Description

Much of the current research on groundwater remediation has focused on the removal of contaminated water from the subsurface and treating it at the surface. While the removal of contaminants is desirable, the costs are often prohibitive and contaminant concentrations are rarely lowered to the required levels. This has been particularly evident for standard “pump-and-treat” approaches. In situ chemically reactive permeable walls or treatment zones are being considered as a low-cost, effective alternative to treat metal-contaminated waste sites. The chemical form of this contaminant is transformed by oxidation-reduction, reductive dechlorination, or precipitation reactions to an immobilized and/or nontoxic form.

Our goals are to expand appropriate laboratory techniques for assessing in situ contaminant remediation in ground water and soils, and to demonstrate these innovative techniques at pilot and full field-scale. In addition, research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for chemical transformations and to improve the efficiency of these systems. It is also important to study mixed wastes because they are more commonly the rule rather than the exception. The treatment zone is constructed by emplacing reactive solids (e.g., zero-valent iron) into the subsurface. As ground water (or surface infiltration for soils) passes through the zone, reactions can occur which cause dissolved contaminants (e.g., chromium, TCE) to become part of the immobile matrix and/or transformed to a nontoxic chemical form. We plan to study other contaminants and reactive materials.

This research will contribute to the development of an information data base, and assessment and remedial design for implementation of this remedial strategy.

 

Keywords:
Groundwater; Metal pollutants; Soil pollution; Water pollution; Hazardous wastes; Environmental remediation;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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