(344f) Advancing Water Remediation Technologies By Nanostructured Membranes (invited paper)

Bhattacharyya, D., University of Kentucky
Wan, H., University of Kentucky
Ormsbee, L., University of Kentucky
Aher, A., University of Kentucky
Saad, A., University of Kentucky
The contamination of aquifers by toxic metals and organic compounds is a widespread problem that prevents these potentially potable sources from being used for drinking and other water needs. Membranes provide flexible technologies, and various applications range from toxic pollutants removal to virus separations to desalination. Metal sorption with polypeptide (helix-coil transition) functionalized membranes is extremely high (for example, >1g metal/g for Pb) compared to conventional ion exchange (50 mg/g). The integration of pollutant degrading enzymes by layered assembly or metal/metal oxide (iron, or bimetallic) nano-particles in microfiltration type membrane pore domain allow catalytic detoxification (for ex, PCBs, TCE, TCP) of water through both reductive and oxidative pathways. Our research and technology development includes functionalization (green chemistry) of membrane pores with pH and temperature responsive polymers, and then subsequent ion exchange of metal ions (Fe (II)) followed by reduction allowed in-situ synthesis of non-aggregated, reactive metal particles in pore domain. We address the need for targeted remediation strategies by developing integrated, cost-effective technologies which incorporate both reductive and oxidative strategies in order to allow the complete remediation of chlorinated organic compounds without the production of toxic byproducts. This is accomplished through the development of a polymer/membrane platform in both lab-scale and full-scale for environmentally benign nanostructured iron synthesis and the establishment of individual and combined technology strategies to reduce the toxicity of chloro-organics. In addition, the presentation will include translational activities of functionalized membrane technology for trace metals separations from energy production related water. We acknowledge the funding by NIH-NIEHS-SRP, NSF EPSCoR program, and industries.