Controlled Release Polymers for Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater

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The EPA estimates that one out of every four Americans lives within three miles of a hazardous waste site. Over 450,000 brownfield sites are awaiting remediation with 1,280 sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). Potential Responsible Parties or the Superfund program are tasked with remediating these sites, but insufficient funding and a growing number of sites have experienced significant delays. The US remediation market has been growing steadily since 2009 (~3% per year) with the global environmental remediation market forecasted to exceed $80 billion by 2019. To address future waste disposal efforts, clearly there is a societal need supported by growing market potential for innovative remediation technologies that decrease cost and increase efficacy. In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) has become the fastest growing remediation technique providing lower cost, being more effective and less disruptive compared to traditional removal methods. However, current ISCO methods require gaseous or liquid-form oxidizers posing significant hazard to workers during transport, delivery, and deployment requiring multiple injections increasing worker exposure liability risk. AxNano, in collaboration with North Carolina A&T, has developed Controlled Release Polymer Structures (CRPS), a solid-phase controlled-release ISCO system where a strong oxidizing agent is encapsulated within a biodegradable matrix. Like an “environmental pill”, CRPS provides sustained release into contaminated zones, shortening the remediation cycle with a single application, while being much safer to handle/transport, deploy while allowing for higher active agent loading than current ISCO technologies. The innovative CRPS delivery system addresses issues plaguing current ISCO methods. CRPS is a controlled-release platform technology that allowing the Environmental Engineer the ability to select specific dose and release profiles meeting individual site treatment requirements. This unique tunability and easy deployment form factor presents many advantages over other remediation technologies. Moreover, the choice of CRPS reactive agents have a proven history of efficacy against numerous Priority Hazardous Substances including chlorinated solvents and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, as well as adherence to regulatory guidelines in prior use. The CRPS technology is being developed as a low-cost, solid pellet, safe to handle and transport, easily deployed, slow-release specialty chemical product to advance the field of ISCO remediation, ultimately having significant beneficial impacts on the global society.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability: TechConnect Briefs 2016
Published: May 22, 2016
Pages: 220 - 223
Industry sector: Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Water Technologies
ISBN: 978-0-9975-1171-0