Chloroform cleanup: Just the beginning for palladium-gold catalysts

April 21, 2013 05:52 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Federally funded research pays off with new process for environmental remediation

Story content courtesy of Rice University, US

Researchers from Rice University, DuPont Central Research and Development and Stanford University have announced a full-scale field test of an innovative process that gently but quickly destroys some of the world’s most pervasive and problematic pollutants. The technology, called PGClear, originated from basic scientific research at Rice during a 10-year, federally funded initiative to use nanotechnology to clean the environment.

PGClear uses a combination of palladium and gold metal to break down hazardous compounds like vinyl chloride, trichloroethene (TCE) and chloroform into nontoxic byproducts.

The first large-scale PGClear unit, which is designed to treat groundwater contaminated with chloroform, is scheduled for installation at a DuPont site in Louisville, Ky., in June.

“This project is a perfect example of how federal research funding pays off when academic researchers partner with industry to tackle difficult problems,” said Rice’s Vicki Colvin, vice provost for research and former director of CBEN.


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