BER Research Highlights

Search Date: April 29, 2017

3 Records match the search term(s):

October 10, 2005

Darsh Wasan to Receive Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research

Darsh Wasan, Professor of Chemical Engineering and holder of the Motorola Chair at the Illinois Institute of Technology, will receive the Alpha Chi Sigma Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) for 2005. The award recognizes his outstanding accomplishments in chemical engineering research and will be presented at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Cincinnati on October 30. Dr Wasan's research into the mechanisms that cause foaming of radioactive wastes during treatment has been supported by the Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) in the Environmental Remediation Sciences Division since 1997. This research has led to new techniques for characterizing surface properties of particle suspensions. The mechanisms of formation and stabilization of foams in the wastes have been determined using the new technologies, and new antifoaming agents have been designed and used in DOE facilities at the Savannah River Site as a result of the EMSP research.

Contact: Roland F. Hirsch, SC-23.4, (301) 903-9009
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.4 Environmental Remediation Sciences Division, OBER)

May 23, 2005

An Electrifying Discovery

NABIR-supported researcher Dr. Derek R. Lovley of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has made a remarkable discovery that will be published in the journal Nature in mid-June. Dr. Lovleys group has found that the metal-reducing microorganism Geobacter produces nanotube projections called pili on the outer cell surface that appear to function as electron conducting nanowires. The data indicates these conductive pili are conduits by which Geobacter transfers electrons onto iron oxides during the process of dissimilatory iron reduction. This is of importance because Geobacter species are detected as a dominant species in the subsurface during stimulated uranium bioremediation, where iron oxide reduction is a dominant process. Discovery of this fundamental mechanism of microbial metal reduction could lead to better models for subsurface bioremediation processes but may also have implications for the electronics field because the conducting pili can be mass produced and pili composition can be altered via genetic manipulation.

Contact: Arthur Katz, SC-23.1, (301) 903-4932
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.1 Life Sciences Division, OBER)

February 07, 2005

New Understanding of Role of Colloids in Contaminant Transport at Hanford

Scientists at Washington State University (WSU) have published a research paper describing new results about the stability of natural colloids from the DOE Hanford Reservation. They found that these colloids do form stable suspensions that gradually aggregate into particles that settle out of suspension in the electrolyte solutions. They conclude that due to the very long travel times of water through the Hanford vadose zone most colloids will aggregate and be removed from the water column before reaching groundwater levels. Colloidal particles are a major concern at several DOE sites as they may facilitate transport of radionuclides that have been released into the subsurface environment at these sites. Significant transport could occur if the colloidal particles that contain radionuclides were to form colloid suspensions that are stable for a long enough period of time that water flowing through the area could move the suspension into an aquifer. The research team, led by Dr Markus Flury of the Center for Multiphase Environmental Research at WSU, studied the behavior of Hanford colloids in electrolyte solutions representative of the composition of waters in the Hanford vadose (unsaturated) zone. The research is funded by the Environmental Remediation Sciences Division of the Biological and Environmental Research program.

Contact: Roland F. Hirsch, SC-73, (301) 903-9009
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-73 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)