Enhancing Nanoparticle Dispersion through Surface Modification using Biopolymers


Researchers: Achintya N. Bezbaruah(PI)

Project sponsors: National Science Foundation (09/2011-08/2014)


Amphiphilic polysiloxane graft copolymers (APGCs) were used as a delivery vehicle for nanoscale zerovalent iron (NZVI). The APGCs were designed to enable adsorption onto NZVI surfaces via carboxylic acid anchoring groups and polyethylene glycol (PEG) grafts were used to provide dispersibility in water. Degradation studies were conducted with trichloroethylene (TCE) as the model contaminant. TCE degradation rate with APGC-coated NZVI (CNZVI) was determined to be higher as compared to bare NZVI. The surface normalized degradation rate constants, k(SA) (Lm(2-) h(-1)), for TCE removal by CNZVI and bare NZVI ranged from 0.008 to 0.0760 to 007-0.016, respectively. Shelf life studies conducted over 12 months to access colloidal stability and 6 months to access TCE degradation indicated that colloidal stability and chemical reactivity of CNZVI remained more or less unchanged. The sedimentation characteristics of CNZVI under different ionic strength conditions (0-10 mM) did not change significantly. The steric nature of particle stabilization is expected to improve aquifer injection efficiency of the coated NZVI for groundwater remediation.


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