Lindell Ormsbee and Dibakar Bhattacharyya
(Summer 2013) University of Kentucky
UK-SRC Translating Research Into Practice
Open structured membranes are excellent for functionalization of pores with charged polymers and subsequent in-situ synthesis of iron nanoparticles for remediation applications. Through a collaborative effort between, the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) Research Translation Core, led by Dr, Lindell Ormsbee, and UK SRC researchers led by Dr. Dibakar Bhattacharyya (DB) have shown that lab-scale chloro-organic remediation systems can be expanded by synthesizing pore-functionalized membranes in a full scale treatment system. Some results of this effort were published as an invited paper entitled Reactive Functionalized Membranes for Polychlorinated Biphenyl Degradation in the May 2013 Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research special issue.
The UK-SRC iron-functionalized membrane work was extended further to another recently funded industrial project with Southern Company, AL examining water reuse in power plants involving reduction of highly toxic selenium in water. Recent results have shown that iron-functionalized membranes developed for PCB/TCE remediation also can be used in other water treatment applications, such as bringing selenium down to ppb levels. UK-SRC continues to work closely with the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, as well as with U.S. Department of Energy officials, to plan implementation of this technology at Kentucky's largest Superfund site, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.