National Science Foundation
Linda M. Abriola (Tufts)
Kurt D. Pennell (Georgia Tech)
UNL Layman Award
Yongfen Lu (UNL)
Tian C. Zhang (UNL)
UNL Reserach Council Interdisiplinary Award
Karrie Weber (UNL)
Fate and Transportation of Engineered Nanomaterials in Porous Media
Engineered Nanomaterials of Interest
- C60 fullerene: ~300 tons /year
- Nano-Silver: ~500 tons /year
- Nano-TiO2: ~5000 tons/year
- How will they interact with soil matrices?
- Can their transport be modeled as colloidal particles using classic particle filtration theory?
- How will unsaturated soil conditions impact transport, retention, and persistence in natural soils?
- Interaction with soil surfaces is electrostatic in origin.
- Modification of the classic filtration theory is necessary to simulate nanomaterial transport.
- Nanomaterial transport is influenced by small-scale surface heterogeneities.
Nanoscale Carbon Onion for Remediation
Carbon onions were named based on their unique molecular structure, consisting of spherical C60 cores surrounded by onion-like nested spherical graphite layers.
- Can be produced using oxygen-depleted combustion of hydrocarbon gases in Dr. Yongfeng Lu’s Lab at UNL
- Orders of magnitude higher sorption capacity than traditional sorbents (e.g. active carbon)
- Orders of magnitude cheaper than other commercially available, carbon-based nanomaterials (e.g. C60 fullerene and carbon nanotube)
- Characterize the size, surface chemistry, and aggregation kinetics
- Evaluate the adsorption capacity of carbon onions for some representative contaminants
- Evaluate their fate and transport
- Develop carbon onion based environmental technologies for groundwater remediation and water purification
Virus Facilitated Heavy Metal Transport
One of the most numerically abundant biological entities on Earth, viruses represents “nature’s nanoparticles.” Viral-like particles are abundant in aquatic, soil, and sedimentary environments, including groundwater.
- Viral surfaces will adsorb and facilitate the transport of contaminant metals in a soil/sedimentary matrix.
- Metal-bearing virus transport can be numerically simulated to describe contaminant metal transport.
- Sorption and transport experiments
- Mathematical modeling