Exploratory Research on Herbicides Picloram and Fungicide Benomyl Degradation in the Presence of Zero-valent Iron Nanoparticles


Graduate researchers:Jay Thompson, Achintya N. Bezbaruah

Project sponsors: North Dakota State University Development Foundation (Centennial Endowment Fund) (06/2007-05/2008)


Pesticide contamination of groundwater remains an ongoing area of concern. One promising pesticide remediation technology is reductive dechlorination by iron filings or powder. This technology has been successful in both the lab and field. However, limitations inherent in this process have limited its use. Recent research has shown that nanoscale zero valent iron (NZVI), with its high surface area and reactivity, can overcome many of these limitations. Although particle properties can vary greatly with synthesis method, typical particles have diameters less than 100 nm. This property results in extremely high specific surface area, which greatly speeds reactions and can eliminate potentially harmful byproducts. Additionally, NZVI can be injected directly into an aquifer, eliminating the need for the expensive excavation associated with iron filings.