SGER: Metallic Nanocatalysts for Rapid Transformation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins

Project Details



BES 0636820

Weilin Huang

Rutgers University

SGER: Metallic Nanocatalysts for Rapid Transformation of

Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins

The objective of this SGER project is to explore the feasibility and efficacy of developing iron-based nano-catalysts to rapidly transform toxic polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) under ambient conditions. PCDD/Fs are of great environmental concern because of their high toxicity to humans, widespread occurrence, and persistence in the environment. The PI recently found that zero-valent-iron (Fe0)-based bimetallic catalysts in the micrometer size range could transform 1,2,3,4-TCDD to di- and mono-chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins with a half life of one hour. The PI's results indicated that the reactions occurred at the solution-catalyst interface and rates were proportional to the specific surface area of the catalysts. Nano-scale iron particles of similar composition should be even more effective because of their very large specific surface areas. In this study, the PI will synthesize and characterize a range of different Fe0-based nanocatalysts with coatings of gold, silver, platinum and palladium and test them for their ability to rapidly transform PCDD/Fs. If successful, this study will open new possibilities for destruction of highly toxic and highly persistent PCDD/Fs in the environment. Rapid dechlorination of these compounds by Fe0-based nanocatalysts under ambient conditions would make it possible to decontaminate Superfund sites contaminated with PCDD/Fs.

Effective start/end date10/1/063/31/08


  • National Science Foundation: $49,999.00


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