Nano-sized iron oxides
Iron oxides are major electron acceptors for biodegradation of organic contaminants in anoxic aquifers. However, the bioavailability of natural ferric oxide minerals is extremely low, resulting in very low reaction rates. Besides, natural iron oxides are often depleted in contaminants plumes. The technology is based on the injection of iron oxide nanoparticles into contaminant plumes or contaminant sources. Due to this injection, the intrinsic microbial iron reduction will be greatly stimulated, which will result in turn in an enhancement of the contaminant oxidation rate. A patent application was made.
The mechanisms of this iron-oxide technology have been studied in lab experiments on small and larger scales. Additionally, a range of experiments have been conducted which demonstrated the enhanced oxidation of BTEX compounds in small scale lab experiments. Yet, no field application has been done so far. Currently, large scale lab experiments und simulated environmental conditions are performed.
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