Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Catalyst Removes Harmful Perchlorate From Groundwater

Date:
September 17, 2006
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new chemical catalyst that uses hydrogen gas to efficiently remove and destroy harmful perchlorate in contaminated groundwater.

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new chemical catalyst that uses hydrogen gas to efficiently remove and destroy harmful perchlorate in contaminated groundwater.

Related Articles


Found in solid-rocket fuel, roadside flares and fireworks, perchlorate is a dangerous contaminant that can disrupt thyroid function by interfering with the uptake of iodine. Infants and fetuses are believed to be particularly at risk from the effects of perchlorate exposure.

Because perchlorate is readily soluble in water, it can be transported vast distances in groundwater or rivers. A plume of contaminated groundwater from a manufacturing plant near Las Vegas, for example, reached the Colorado River and spread throughout the Southwest. Cleanup could take decades. "Perchlorate has been recognized as a significant environmental contaminant in U.S. water supplies, and its physical and chemical properties pose a serious challenge for remediation," said John Shapley, a professor of chemistry at Illinois and co-developer, with graduate student Keith Hurley, of the new catalyst.

Efforts at remediation using naturally occurring microorganisms or existing pump-and-treat technology are too complicated, too energy intensive or too slow to be practical, Shapley said.

The new catalyst is composed of two metals -- palladium and rhenium -- supported on activated carbon. The catalyst operates at room temperature under normal atmospheric pressure, and does not dissolve in water.

"In catalytic operation, the rhenium removes an oxygen atom from the perchlorate molecule in what is called an atom transfer reaction," Hurley said. "Meanwhile, the palladium activates the gaseous hydrogen atoms so they will react with the freed oxygen. What's left is harmless chloride and water." The catalytic reaction continues as long as there is both hydrogen gas and perchlorate contaminant present.

"While current technologies -- such as ion exchange systems -- can concentrate and remove perchlorate from water, they cannot destroy it," said Shapley, who will describe the new catalyst at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, to be held in San Francisco, Sept. 10-14. "Our catalyst would take a concentrated stream of perchlorate and get rid of it altogether."

Development of the catalyst was funded by the Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (CAMPWS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center based at Illinois.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Catalyst Removes Harmful Perchlorate From Groundwater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915204427.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2006, September 17). New Catalyst Removes Harmful Perchlorate From Groundwater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915204427.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Catalyst Removes Harmful Perchlorate From Groundwater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915204427.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

AP (Feb. 26, 2015) A new winter storm is stretching across the south, making travel treacherous throughout the region. (Feb. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) The freezing temperatures that have plagued much of the eastern U.S. haven&apos;t spared New York City. The waterways around the island of Manhattan are filled with ice. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia surveyed severe flood damage in the northern province of Pando, as people were evacuated from partially submerged houses by boat. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins