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Graduate Student Minghui Gui

(Winter 2014) University of Kentucky

2014 Trainee Webinar Series

This webinar series features the outstanding work being conducted by graduate and postdoctoral students conducting SRP-funded research. Specifically, this year's series consists of presentations from Poster Award Winners from the previous SRP Annual Meeting. This is an excellent opportunity for peers, SRP researchers, SRP alumni, and SRP's partners to hear the poster winners describe their current research/activities. The intent of the series is to increase collaboration and exchange of ideas among young investigators conducting SRP-funded research/activities and to hear about their award-winning work.
Session I: Featuring Minghui Gui (University of Kentucky) and Fabian Grimm (University of Iowa), April 15, 2014; 1:00-2:00 pm EDT, Registration  

Chloro-Organic Detoxification by Membrane Supported Iron/Iron Oxide System

Presentation Abstract: Chlorinated organic compounds such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have always been a threat to human health. The existing remediation techniques remove the chlorine atoms by either reduction or oxidation. The reductive pathway (such as, with Fe, Fe/Pd, Fe/Ni nanoparticles [NPs]) degrade TCE and PCBs based on electron transfer and the hydrodechlorination mechanism. The bimetallic NPs enhance the reaction rate through hydrodechlorination, and are needed for PCB dechlorination. The oxidative pathway (advanced oxidation processes) generates free radicals like OH•, which attack the model compounds and cause the chain scission.
Tunable supports such as polyelectrolyte functionalized membranes provide added benefits of eliminating NP agglomeration and leaching. Gui developed iron-functionalized membrane system in both bench-scale and large-scale. Iron and iron oxide NPs (less than 80 nm) were in-situ synthesized in polyacrylic acid (PAA) functionalized polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) microfiltration membranes. The large-scale functionalized membranes developed in collaboration with Sepro Membrane Inc. include the flat sheet and spiral wound modules, which have the potential to be used for dechlorination (reduction followed by oxidation) as well as toxic inorganic (e.g. selenate/selenite) capture in real life. Selenium was efficiently removed from coal-fired plant process water (Southern Co.) by iron functionalized membrane.