AWARD: Minority Student Research Training Grant Sponsored by the Department of Energy

Aug. 7, 2015

UNLV's Colleges of Engineering and Sciences were awarded a $282K Department of Energy: Environmental Management Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Grant titled Chromium Contamination Remediation Using Activated Carbon Coated with Polysulfide Rubber (PSR) and Zeolites Coated with Surfactants. Below is the project abstract:

The remediation of Chromium contaminants at the Hanford and Savannah River Sites is of high priority to the Department of Energy (DOE). In response, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) seeks to develop coated adsorbents that can be used to remediate chromium contamination in water and soils at the Hanford Site. Specifically, the project team, composed of faculty from the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering propose to: (1) Develop coated zeolites and activated carbons with Polysulfide Rubber that can adsorb chromium  (Drs. Kim and Moon); (2) Batch test the effectiveness of the developed materials in removing chromium from synthetic waste waters with varying pH to simulate the conditions at the Hanford site (Drs. Batista and Gerrity); (3) Develop  a coupled flow and transport model for the Cr along flow paths in a reactive barrier system that integrates the new materials developed; and (4) Develop a physical model of Chromium transport and its adsorption and reduction performance in a reactive barrier system (Drs. Nicholls and Kreamer). The DOE has explored various technologies to treat both groundwater and soils contaminated with Chromium at its facilities, particularly at Hanford where recent research has shown the effectiveness of using sulfides to reduce Chromium in groundwater and wastewater. The project team consists of two material scientists, a geologist, two geochemists, and two environmental engineers who are each well established in his/her field and have an established history of providing research opportunities to minority students. Thus, the aim of this proposed work is to provide graduate level training to minority students in material sciences/engineering, geochemistry, and environmental engineering—all areas of interest to the Department of Energy. 

Project faculty include: 

Dr. Jaci Batista, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Daniel Gerrity, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Dr. Kwang Kim, Professor of Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering 
Dr. David Kreamer, Professor of Hydrology, Geosciences
Dr. Jaeyun Moon, Assistant Professor of Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering 
Dr. Michael Nicholl, Associate Professor of Geochemistry, Geosciences 
Dr. Zhongbo Yu, Professor of Hydrology, Geosciences