BER Research Highlights

Search Date: December 13, 2017

15 Records match the search term(s):


September 14, 2011

How Bacteria Influence Speciation (and Mobility) of Mercury in the Environment

Significant amounts of mercury have contaminated some DOE cleanup sites, such as the Oak Ridge Reservation. Mercury mobility is strongly dependent on its chemical form, with the elemental metal being volatile and hence mobile in the environment, while oxidized forms are much less mobile (though more toxic). New research at Argonne National Laboratory has provided improved understanding of the role of bacteria in controlling the chemical form of mercury in subsurface environments. The research group used x-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments at the Advanced Photon Source to study the sorption of oxidized HgII to Bacillus subtilis, a bacterium commonly found in soils. They found that HgII sorbs to bacterial cells via both high-affinity sulfhydryl binding groups and low-affinity carboxyl groups on the cell surfaces. The HgII that is sorbed to cells via the sulfhydryl groups remains unavailable for reduction by magnetite, a reactive iron-containing mineral often found in sediments, even after two months of reaction time. These results identify a mechanism by which mercury might be immobilized in the environment and help provide a clearer picture of the complex system of interactions of mercury in the subsurface.

Reference: Mishra, B., E. J. O'Loughlin, M. I. Boyanov, and K. M. Kemner. 2011. "Binding of Hg(II) to High-Affinity Sites on Bacteria Inhibits Reduction to Hg(0) by Mixed Fe(II/III) Phases," Environmental Science and Technology 45(22), 9597–9603. DOI: 10.1021/es201820c. (Reference link)

Contact: Roland F. Hirsch, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9009, Roland F. Hirsch, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9009
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


September 12, 2011

Understanding How Environmental Microbes Make Uranium Less Soluble

Uranium is one of the major contaminants at DOE cleanup sites. It was usually released into the environment as the highly soluble uranyl ion (uranium (VI)). This ion interacts with bacteria and minerals in the ground to form reduced uranium (IV), notably in the mineral uraninite, a form that is much less soluble than uranium (VI). Less soluble uranium (IV) species are less likely to be moved out of the initially contaminated zone and into nearby rivers or aquifers by groundwater. New research has shown that biologically produced uraninite in a natural underground environment dissolves much more slowly than uraninite prepared in the laboratory. Researchers have developed a model showing that the slower dissolution is due to the presence of biomass that limits the reoxidation rate of the uranium (IV) in uraninite and diffusion of oxidized uranium into the groundwater. This understanding will be used in developing improved models of uranium transport in contaminated environments. Field studies were carried out at the Old Rifle, Colorado, Integrated Field Research Challenge site, while experiments to determine the forms of uranium present were conducted at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource.

Reference: Campbell, K. M., et al. 2011. "Oxidative Dissolution of Biogenic Uraninite in Groundwater at Old Rifle, CO," Environmental Science and Technology 45, 8748–54. DOI: 10.1021/es200482f. (Reference link)

Contact: Roland F. Hirsch, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9009
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


August 07, 2011

Microbial Nanowires Exhibit Metal-like Conductivity

Recent reports indicate that common anaerobic subsurface microbes respire metal-containing minerals and radionuclide contaminants via appendages, known as "nanowires," on their cell surface. These nanowires facilitate electron transport from central metabolism inside the cell to electron acceptors on the outside of the cell. New results from a DOE team led by the University of Massachusetts show that microbial pili composed of natural proteins exhibit metal-like conductivity in the absence of cytochromes and function as "nanowires," a finding that could have far-reaching biotechnological and bioelectronic implications. Researchers have shown that they could manipulate biofilms grown in microbial fuel cells, "tuning" electrical conductance depending on the expression of specific genes associated with pili ("nanowire") production. Furthermore, X-ray diffraction and electrical studies of purified "nanowire" filaments attribute the electron-conducting behavior to the molecular structure of the pili that results in close alignment of aromatic groups within the amino acid components facilitating p-orbital overlap and charge delocalization. The data help to explain how these microorganisms respire solid minerals and radionuclide contaminants in anaerobic subsurface environments and has far-reaching implications for nanomaterial biodesign and biotechnology.

Reference: Malvankar, N. S., M. Vargas, K. P. Nevin, A. E. Franks, C. Leang, B. Kim, K. Inoue, T. Mester, S. F. Covalla, J. P. Johnson, V. M. Rotello, M. T. Tuominen, and D. R. Lovley. 2011. "Tunable Metallic-Like Conductivity in Microbial Nanowire Networks," Nature Nanotechnology, DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2011.119. (Reference link)

Contact: Robert T. Anderson, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5549
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


May 31, 2011

Extracellular Polymeric Substances Stop Migration of Subsurface Contaminants

Subsurface uranium is a significant contaminant at U.S. Department of Energy sites. Remediation solutions include immobilizing contaminants to prevent them from reaching groundwater. Using a model organism isolated from a uranium seep of the Columbia River, scientists recently quantified how extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in subsurface environments can be used to immobilize heavy metal and radionuclide contaminants such as uranium [U(VI)]. In geologic systems, EPS can help bind microbes to mineral surfaces, influence cellular metabolism, and influence the fate and transport of contaminants. Using a novel biofuel reactor designed by scientists from the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), the team prepared biofilms of a Shewanella species that produces EPS, and quantitatively analyzed the contribution of EPS to U(VI) immobilization. Using EMSL’s nuclear magnetic resonance capabilities to analyze chemical residues in EPS samples and cryogenic fluorescence spectroscopy to obtain sensitive U(VI) measurements, they tested the reactivity of loosely associated EPS and bound EPS with U(VI). The scientists found that, when reduced, the isolated cell-free EPS fractions could reduce U(VI) and the bound EPS contributed significantly to its immobilization, primarily through redox-active proteins. For loosely associated EPS, sorption of U(VI) was attributed predominantly to reaction with polysaccharides. These results could lead to the development of improved remediation techniques for subsurface contaminants.

Reference: Cao, B., B. Ahmed, D. W. Kennedy, Z. Wang, L. Shi, M. J. Marshall, J. K. Fredrickson, N. G. Isern, P. D. Majors, and H. Beyenal. 2011. "Contribution of Extracellular Polymeric Substances from Shewanella sp. HRCR-1 Biofilms to U(VI) Immobilization," Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/es200095j. (Reference Link)

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


May 23, 2011

Microbial Wires Could Generate Energy or Immobilize Environmental Contaminants

A team of researchers from the University of East Anglia and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have determined, for the first time, the molecular structure of the proteins that enable the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis to transfer an electrical charge. The bacteria survive in oxygen-free environments by constructing small wires that extend through the cell wall and contact minerals—a process called iron respiration or “breathing rocks.” Proteins within these wires pass electrons outward to create an electrical charge. Using resources at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), including X-ray crystallography, the scientists gained new insights about how these proteins work together to move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell. Identifying the molecular structure of these proteins is a key step toward potentially using microbes as a source of electricity; for example, by connecting them to electrodes to create microbial fuel cells. Because the bacteria also trap and transform the minerals they contact, the new information could advance the development of microbe-based agents for use in environmental remediation such as cleaning up legacy radioactive waste. EMSL is a Department of Energy national scientific user facility.

Reference: Clarke, T. A., M. J. Edwards, A. J. Gates, A. Hall, G. F. White, J. Bradley, C. Reardon, L. Shi, A. S. Beliaev, M. J. Marshall, Z. Wang, N. J. Watmough, J. Fredrickson, J. Zachara, J. N. Butt, and D. J. Richardson. 2011. "Structure of a Bacterial Cell Surface Decaheme Electron Conduit," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, DOI 10.1073/pnas.1017200108. (Reference Link)

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324, Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


May 11, 2011

Fungus Study Offers Insights About Biogeochemical Cycling, Bioremediation

Users at the DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) have helped fill a gap in the research community's knowledge about the role of fungi and manganese (Mn) oxides in biogeochemical cycling and bioremediation. Mn is a contaminant commonly found in coal mine drainage. Though high concentrations of soluble Mn, such as the reduced Mn(II) ion, can be problematic, Mn oxides, whose formation is readily stimulated by bacteria and fungi, can be quite helpful. These highly reactive compounds play a role in the cycling of nutrients and carbon in the soil and water, and, importantly, they can serve as bioremediating agents by scavenging metals. Previous Mn studies have centered on bacteria, but the role of fungi in Mn(II) oxidation and subsequent Mn oxide formation is just as important. The research team fully characterized the Mn oxides produced by four different species of fungi isolated from coal mine drainage treatment systems in central Pennsylvania by integrating a broad suite of microscopy and spectroscopy tools, including high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy at EMSL and X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. Their studies revealed that the species, growth conditions, and cellular structures of fungi influence the size, morphology, and structure—and, therefore, reactivity—of the Mn oxides. Their results underline the importance of species diversity in biogeochemical cycling and bioremediation. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation. Portions of the work were performed at EMSL, a national scientific user facility located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Reference: Santelli, C. M., S. M. Webb, A. C. Dohnalkova, and C. M. Hansel. 2011. "Diversity of Mn Oxides Produced by Mn(II)-Oxidizing Fungi," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75(10), 2762–76. (Reference Link)

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


May 05, 2011

Specialized Atomic Force Microscope Enables Studies of Mineral-Fluid Interfaces in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

Among the options for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is the injection of supercritical CO2 into the deep subsurface for long-term storage. However, some scientists wonder whether ongoing geochemical processes in the subsurface will ensure that the supercritical CO2 would remain sequestered. Efforts to study these processes require instrumentation that can handle samples at supercritical CO2 pressure and temperatures. In response to this need, a team of scientists from the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE scientific user facility in Richland, WA, Wright State University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a high-pressure atomic force microscope (AFM) that enables the first-ever measurements of the atomic-scale topography of solid surfaces that are in contact with supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) fluids. Obtaining in situ, atomic-scale information about mineral-fluid interfaces at high pressure is particularly useful for understanding geochemical processes relevant to carbon sequestration. The ability to take in situ images as a function of time allows researchers to measure atomic-scale reaction rates by visualizing the dynamic processes that occur on the mineral surface and eliminates the need to alter experimental conditions between images. The new apparatus significantly extends the ability to make AFM measurements in environmental conditions not previously possible (in either commercial AFM instruments or in the few specially designed hydrothermal AFMs), and is designed to handle pressures up to 100 atmospheres at temperatures up to approximately 350 degrees Kelvin. The research team demonstrated the new microscope by imaging the disappearance of a hydrated calcium carbonate film on the calcite mineral surface in scCO2. The team met the technical challenge of maintaining precise control of pressure and temperature in the fluid cell, which is necessary to mitigate noise associated with density changes in a compressible fluid. The new apparatus can be used to study other gaseous or aqueous high-pressure solid-fluid chemical processes in addition to geochemical processes. For more information on this new capability, see: this highlight.

Reference: Lea, A. S., S. R. Higgins, K. G. Knauss, and K. M. Rosso. 2011. "A High-Pressure Atomic Force Microscope for Imaging in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide," Review of Scientific Instruments 82, 043709; DOI:10.1063/1.3580603. (Reference Link)

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


April 19, 2011

New Insights into Processes Impacting Plutonium (Pu) Mobility in the Environment

Reduced iron, Fe(II), found in numerous subsurface environments, is a reductant for a variety of redox-active actinide contaminants, such as Pu, found at DOE sites. Changing the redox state of actinide contaminants can profoundly decrease or increase their mobility by decreasing or increasing their solubility. A key question is whether solid-phase minerals facilitate these Fe(II) reactions by providing a "template" for potential reaction products that drives a more thermodynamically favorable reaction. A research team led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrated the heterogeneous reduction of sparingly soluble Pu(IV) to aqueous Pu(III) by Fe(II) in the presence of goethite, a common iron mineral. Experimental data and thermodynamic calculations show how differences in the free energy of various possible solid-phase Fe(III) reaction products on the iron mineral surface can influence the extent of the reduction reaction and the production of aqueous Pu(III). Heterogeneous reduction reactions by Fe(II) have been demonstrated with other actinides such as uranium and technetium, but this study presents the first experimental evidence of enhanced heterogeneous reduction of plutonium by Fe(II) in the presence of an iron mineral. The work is an example of a surface catalyzed reduction mechanism that is not fully captured in current contaminant fate and transport models but is needed to more fully describe the potential mobility of Pu in the environment.

Reference: Felmy, A. R., D. A. Moore, K. M. Rosso, O. Qafoku, D. Rai, E. C. Buck, and E. S. Ilton. 2011. "Heterogeneous Reduction of PuO2 with Fe(II): Importance of the Fe(III) Reaction Product," Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 3952–58. DOI: 10.1021/es104212g. (Reference link)

Contact: Robert T. Anderson, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5549
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


March 03, 2011

Microbes Limit Technetium Movement in Groundwater

A legacy of DOE's former weapons production activities is the contamination of groundwater by radionuclides such as technetium (Tc). Tc-99 found in Hanford site groundwater is a mobile and long-lived fission product whose mobility can be retarded by subsurface minerals containing reduced or ferrous iron. Scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have now found that several species of microbes can increase the amount of reduced iron in the subsurface as part of their metabolic processes and that this additional reduced iron significantly reduces the mobility of Tc. Using a variety of instruments available at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory and the Advanced Photon Source, DOE scientific user facilities at PNNL and Argonne National Laboratory, respectively, the team found that Tc was 10 times less soluble when it came in contact with microbially generated reduced iron. This research provides a basis for a conceptual approach to limit the movement of Tc in groundwater at DOE sites.

Reference: Plymale, A. E., J. K. Fredrickson, J. M. Zachara, A. C. Dohnalkova, S. M. Heald, D. A. Moore, D. W. Kennedy, M. J. Marshall, C. Wang, C. T. Resch, and P. Nachimuthu. 2011. Environmental Science and Technology 45, 951-7.

Contact: Robert T. Anderson, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5549, Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


March 03, 2011

New Insight into the Mechanism of Plutonium Transport in the Environment

The potential migration of plutonium in the environment is a concern at DOE sites such as the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the Nevada Test Site, as well as an issue in nuclear waste disposal for nuclear energy development. Using a number of transmission electron microscopy techniques Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers and collaborating Clemson University scientists have provided important new understanding of the formation and the biogeochemical mechanisms controlling plutonium migration. Once thought immobile in the subsurface, it has been recently recognized that plutonium is capable of being transported with the colloidal faction of groundwater. The researchers examined the interaction of plutonium nanocolloids with environmentally relevant minerals such as iron-containing goethite and silicon-containing quartz. The studies revealed the molecular basis of potential binding through epitaxial growth between the plutonium nanocolloids and colloid goethite that may be a possible mechanism for enhanced plutonium transport. The results improve our understanding of how molecular-scale behavior at the mineral-water interface may facilitate transport of plutonium at the field scale, providing important molecular-level input to improve contaminant transport models and the prediction of plutonium behavior.

Reference: Powell, B. A., Z. Dai, M. Zavarin, P. Zhao, and A. B. Kersting. 2011. "Stabilization of Plutonium Nano-Colloids by Epitaxial Distortion on Mineral Surfaces," Environmental Science and Technology 45, 2698–2703. DOI:dx.doi.org/10.1021/es1033487. (Reference link)

Contact: Arthur Katz, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4932
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


March 03, 2011

New Method for Uranium Remediation in Acidic Waste Plumes

Acidic uranium (U) groundwater plumes resulted from acid extraction of plutonium during the Cold War and from U mining and milling operations. A sustainable remediation method is not yet available. DOE scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are exploring the use of humic acids (HA) to immobilize U in groundwater under acidic conditions. When acidic groundwater (pH below 5.0) is treated with humic acid, U can adsorb onto aquifer sediments rapidly, strongly, and practically irreversibly. Using historically contaminated sediments from the DOE Savannah River site, column-leaching experiments show that with humic acid treatment, 99% of the contaminant U was immobilized at pH < 4.5 under normal groundwater flow rates, suggesting that humic acid treatment is a promising in situ remediation method for acidic U waste plumes. As a remediation reagent, humic acids are resistant to biodegradation, cost-effective, nontoxic, and easily introducible into the subsurface.

Reference: Wan, J., W. Dong, and T. K. Tokunaga. 2011. "Method To Attenuate U(VI) Mobility in Acidic Waste Plumes Using Humic Acids," Environmental Science and Technology, 45(6), 2331–37. DOI: 10.1021/es103864t. (Reference link)

Contact: David Lesmes, SC 23.1, (301) 903-2977
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


March 03, 2011

New Model Improves Prediction of Contaminant Movement

The conventional approach for monitoring contaminant movement in groundwater is to drill monitoring boreholes and watch the groundwater for contaminants—a time-consuming and expensive approach subject to uncertainties regarding the direction or depth of contaminant movement. Moreover, in areas of high rainfall or recharge, contaminant movement can be greatly influenced by significant recharge events. A team of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee collaborated to develop a modeling approach that couples time-lapse electrical resistivity data with hydrogeochemical data and processes. The team validated the model using data from a location within DOE’s Oak Ridge Integrated Field Research Challenge site in Oak Ridge, TN, demonstrating that they could accurately simulate recharge events for this location using this coupled approach. Estimates from this model are now being used to constrain the site-wide model.

Reference: Kowalsky, M. B., E. Gasperikova, S. Finsterle, D. Watson, G. Baker, and S. S. Hubbard. 2011. "Coupled Modeling of Hydrogeochemical and Electrical Resistivity Data for Exploring the Impact of Recharge on Subsurface Contamination," Water Resources Research doi:10.1029/2009WR008947.

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


March 03, 2011

Predicting Microbial Interactions Could Improve Uranium Bioremediation

Advances in genome sequencing and the capability to develop genome-scale metabolic models have enabled the ability to predict microbial interactions. An analysis of two microbes known to compete in situ during tests of uranium bioremediation predicts how life strategies and growth rates for each are altered by substrate and nutrient availability and the implications of these interactions on uranium bioremediation strategies. DOE researchers from the University of Massachusetts and University of Toronto working with metabolic models for two metal-reducing microorganisms (Rhodoferax and Geobacter) present in the subsurface at a uranium bioremediation test site in Rifle, CO, explain how the introduction of acetate and the availability of ammonium impacts growth rates and the life strategies of these two organisms. Acetate addition in the absence of ammonium favors Geobacter metabolism consistent with field observations. However, the models predict that Rhodoferax metabolism should be favored in the presence of ammonium due to a higher overall growth rate. The results help explain field observations of decreased uranium bioreduction activity in areas with elevated ammonium concentrations. Unlike Geobacter species, Rhodoferax species are not known to reduce uranium indicating ammonium concentration as an important design criterion for uranium bioremediation.

Reference: Zhuang, K., M. Izallalen, P. Mouser, H. Richter, C. Risso, R. Mahadevan, and D. R. Lovley. 2011. The ISME Journal 5, 305-16.

Contact: Robert T. Anderson, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5549
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


February 07, 2011

Dual Role for Organic Matter in Mercury Cycling and Toxicity

Mercury from worldwide industrialization is a widely recognized global pollutant. Concern over mercury is due to the bioaccumulation of the highly toxic methylmercury. Methylmercury is created by microbes through the conversion of inorganic mercury, Hg(II), under anaerobic conditions, such as those found in stream sediments. However, dissolved organic matter (DOM), which is ubiquitous in soils and aquatic sediments, forms strong complexes with Hg(II), influencing the microbial production of methylmercury. A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has found that low concentrations of DOM reduce Hg(II), and that high concentrations of DOM forms complexes with Hg. The authors propose that the dual nature of DOM activity is due to the redox state of sulfur in DOM and the DOM:Hg ratio which affect the transformation of Hg and the potential microbial production of toxic methylmercury. These findings provide greater understanding of the potential transformations of Hg that are occurring not only in the mercury-contaminated East Fork Poplar Creek stream sediments on the Y-12 complex in Oak Ridge but in the sediments of many other mercury-contaminated streams worldwide.

Reference: Gu, B., Y. Bian, C. L. Miller, W. Dong, X. Jiang, and L. Liang. 2011. "Mercury Reduction and Complexation by Natural Organic Matter in Anoxic Environments," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA DOI:10.1073/pnas.1008747108.

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


January 26, 2011

Modeling How Uranium Sticks to Soils

Determining how radioactive material sticks to soil and affects its movement into nearby water sources is a major challenge for cleaning up nuclear waste sites. This waste, which may include uranium, can be diffuse as well as difficult to isolate and remove. To reduce the cost and complexity of complete removal, innovative and inexpensive methods are needed to expedite cleanup efforts around the world, especially in sites with vast areas of contamination. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discovered that the surface of a common soil mineral, aluminum oxide, adheres to uranium, making it less mobile. The researchers assembled a detailed picture of how uranium adheres to the mineral surface using a computational model. By modeling the behavior of uranium in a complex subsurface environment, they were able to show that uranium sticks to the surface of aluminum oxide without changing it in any way and that a more acidic environment improves how well the two stick together. This cluster model approach allows for a straightforward comparison between different sorption mechanisms, and predictions can be directly related to X-ray adsorption experiment measurements. This approach can be used to model surface reactivity and be further utilized in other complex model systems. It also may lead to efficient, more affordable solutions for cleaning contaminated ground.

Reference: Glezakou, V., and W. A. de Jong. 2011. “Cluster-Models for Uranyl(VI) Adsorption on α-Alumina,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 115(7), 1257–63. DOI: 10.1021/jp1092509. (Reference link) (See also)

Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER



Computational modeling of uranium oxide ions with aluminum oxide provides insights that are contributing to development of a cheap and effective way to clean up nuclear waste sites. more...

Image Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory