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Agar agar-stabilized milled zerovalent iron particles for in situ groundwater remediation

Velimirovic, Milica, Schmid, Doris, Wagner, Stephan, Micić, Vesna, von der Kammer, Frank, Hofmann, Thilo
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.563-564 pp. 713-723
agar, cost effectiveness, grinding, groundwater, hydrocarbons, iron, longevity, polymers, porous media, raw materials, remediation
Submicron-scale milled zerovalent iron (milled ZVI) particles produced by grinding macroscopic raw materials could provide a cost-effective alternative to nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) particles for in situ degradation of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons in groundwater. However, the aggregation and settling of bare milled ZVI particles from suspension presents a significant obstacle to their in situ application for groundwater remediation. In our investigations we reduced the rapid aggregation and settling rate of bare milled ZVI particles from suspension by stabilization with a “green” agar agar polymer. The transport potential of stabilized milled ZVI particle suspensions in a diverse array of natural heterogeneous porous media was evaluated in a series of well-controlled laboratory column experiments. The impact of agar agar on trichloroethene (TCE) removal by milled ZVI particles was assessed in laboratory-scale batch reactors. The use of agar agar significantly enhanced the transport of milled ZVI particles in all of the investigated porous media. Reactivity tests showed that the agar agar-stabilized milled ZVI particles were reactive towards TCE, but that their reactivity was an order of magnitude less than that of bare, non-stabilized milled ZVI particles. Our results suggest that milled ZVI particles could be used as an alternative to nZVI particles as their potential for emplacement into contaminated zone, their reactivity, and expected longevity are beneficial for in situ groundwater remediation.