(2f) Characterization of Carbon Microspheres for Trichloroethylene Remediation

Authors: 
John, V. T., Tulane University
Zhan, J., Tulane University
Sunkara, B., Tulane University
Li, L., Tulane University


Ground water contamination by trichloroethylene (TCE) is a major environmental concern. The remediation of TCE can be achieved with novel nano-systems of zero-valent iron carried by carbon spheres with both reactive and adsorptive remediation properties. Carbon nanospheres produced using hydrothermal treatment followed by pyrolysis was studied as the carrier of reactive iron nano-particles which reacts and removes TCE. Not only do these carbon nanospheres demonstrate facile transport capacity through soil, they also strongly adsorb dissolved TCE in water. Adsorption of TCE by carbon brings the contaminant close to the reactive iron particles on the system for reactive remediation. The adsorption properties of the carbon spheres were studied with TCE solutions at a range of concentrations (20ppm-1000ppm). The adsorption isotherm of trichloroethylene on pyrolysis carbon generated was analyzed to be competitive against commercial carbon especially at lower concentrations. Capillary transport experiments demonstrated the potential of the carbon spheres to transfer through soil and reach contamination sites in ground aquifers. These characteristics give these carbon nanospheres great potentials to perform as carrier vessels for nano-iron particles as TCE removal agents.