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Effectiveness of Zerovalent Iron and Nickel Catalysts for Degrading Chlorinated Solvents and n-Nitrosodimethylamine in Natural Groundwater

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Laboratory batch experiments were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of nickel catalysts, nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) doped with palladium, and microscale ZVI for treatment of tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, and n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in soil-groundwater slurries. Results indicated that the presence of NDMA inhibited degradation of chlorinated solvents. Although both the nickel catalyst and nZVI were able to degrade NDMA in deionized water, neither of these metals was effective at degrading NDMA in the soil–groundwater system evaluated in this study. The effectiveness of the nickel catalyst and nZVI, with respect to treatment of the chlorinated solvents, also appeared to be highly dependent on the groundwater geochemical conditions. Overall results of this study suggest that the degradation mechanisms involving nickel catalysts and nZVI in natural soil/groundwater systems are not well-understood, and addition of metal catalysts to ZVI may not necessarily enhance observed degradation rates in natural systems.

Keywords: catalysts; groundwater; n-nitrosodimethylamine; nanoscale iron; nickel

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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