HOUSTON, Sept. 16, 1998 -- The Department of Defense (DOD) should consider applying several new technologies to cleaning up hazardous wastes, researchers recommend in a report summarizing the results of a four-year project. In some cases the technologies are faster, cheaper and more effective than current methods.
Technologies studied in the project were aimed at soil and ground water cleanup, difficult cleanups, and lowering costs of cleanup. Evaluations were aimed at performance of 10 technologies for use at DOD sites and critical analyses of their commercialization potential.
The Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility (AATDF), sponsored by the DOD and headquartered at Rice University, was funded in 1993 with a $19.3 million grant. Its goal was to demonstrate methods of hazardous waste cleanup. Research was conducted by a consortium of universities and supported by industry and government agencies.
Reports on the projects will be sent to the DOD. Several of the technologies are already being used, others are being recommended for use by the DOD, and others will continue to be tested.
Some of the projects focused on contaminants that are difficult to clean up, such as chemicals associated with the energy industry called heavy hydrocarbons, dense liquids called chlorinated solvents, and difficult soil conditions, such as tight clays.
"Most of the easy environmental remediation problems have been addressed with readily available technology, frequently at great expense to industry, government and the public at large," says Herb Ward, director of the AATDF and the Foyt Family Professor in Environmental Science and Engineering at Rice. "However, we have no technology that is affordable that can solve our most difficult subsurface and ground water contamination problems. Our program has changed that. Because of the AATDF program, we now have several new and innovative technologies for hazardous waste cleanup."
The partnership has led to detailed performance and cost data on emerging cleanup technologies and, in some cases, to the creation of engineering design manuals and commercialization summaries.
The AATDF produced the first reference manual detailing how to use solvents and surfactants to remove light and dense nonaqueous phase liquids, particularly stubborn contaminants, from beneath the ground.
"We feel we accomplished what we set out to do--to select and carefully test the most promising innovative environmental remediation technologies for clean up of DOD sites," says Carroll L. Oubre, program manager of the AATDF.
Universities participating in the AATDF include Rice University, Stanford University, University of Texas, Lamar University, University of Waterloo and Louisiana State University. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station manages the AATDF grant for the DOD.
The AATDF program has demonstrated that government, industry and academia can work together as an efficient and effective team in moving research and development ideas into the field and toward commercialization.
Editors: For more information about the AATDF program and its technologies, contact Lia Unrau at (713) 831-4793, [email protected] Information is also available at: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~aatdf/index.htm.
The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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