Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

The N.C. A&T grant of the month for October: Nano iron vs. contamination, hog manure odor

The Sponsored Funding Report for October:

N.C. A&T received 23 grants totaling $5.65 million in October.  That total includes supplemental funding for two major research projects, the Center for Aviation Safety ($785,000 from NASA) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences ($485,000 from the Army Research Office).

One highlight of October’s s funding was a grant worth $299, 928 from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Dr. Muchha Reddy of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design.

The project:  Remediation of Contaminated Soils and Water and Swine Manure Odor Reduction Using Nano Size Iron Particles

The issue: The contamination of soil and water renders them unfit for human use as well as animal and plant dependence.

Abstract: Several forms of Fe have been tested to reduce and remove chromates. Zero-valent iron (ZVI) particles are effective in the remediation purpose. The approach in solving the above said problem is unique as we synthesize the metal powders using liquid polyols such as ethylene glycol under microwave hydrothermal conditions. Microwaves have been used to synthesize ceramics and metal powders. The process is eco-friendly and low input demanding, yielding high purity metal particles.

Remediation of contaminated soils and water using nano metal particles synthesized in this fashion is an innovation in itself. Another novel approach in this project is the application of ZVI particles to swine manure to reduce NH 3 emissions from composting there by eliminating the foul odor. This will encourage establishment of more swine units to help small farmers and at the same time eliminate the taboo of applying swine manure to crops. Nano particles will be synthesized using microwave system (MARS 5). Synthesized nano particles will be characterized using XRD (X-ray diffraction), SEM (Scanning electron microscopy), and TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) to establish their phase formation.

Performance is evaluated through lab and field studies by measuring contaminant levels at different stages of the remediation process. Contaminated soil and water samples collected will be analyzed for contaminant level before treating with the nano particles and reanalyzed for the same contaminants after the treatment period. Comparing the analysis results will help in determining the effectiveness of the nano particles. ZVI particles will be mixed with swine manure to reduce the offensive odor and to monitor gaseous (odor) emissions different treatment levels and control samplers will be setup with periodic measurements taken for data collection and analysis.

The complete list of grants received in October (xlsx file).