Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LSU Engineers model forecasts chemical contaminants based on Katrina-flooded homes

05.02.2009
Results to be published in April issue of Environmental Engineering Science

A recent study by LSU engineers suggests that Katrina-flooded homes may contain harmful levels of contaminants, particularly aerosols and gases, which could expose first-responders, residents and any others entering such homes to serious and lasting health risks. The results could also be applied to similar flooding events that might occur in the future.

Nicholas Ashley, Louis Thibodeaux and Kalliat Valsaraj, all from LSU's Department of Chemical Engineering, developed a model describing various levels of contaminants, some of which are inhalable and therefore would not require direct contact for contamination to occur.

The paper was originally presented by Ashley, a Ph.D. candidate, at the national meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in November 2008, where it tied for first place with papers from MIT and the University of Iowa.

"The extensive sampling conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies post-Katrina was restricted solely to outdoor sediment," said Ashley. "We proposed that the material that gets inside the flooded homes could be different, and possibly more highly contaminated, than that deposited outside. It turns out that we were right."

The topic was an easy one to focus on, since all researchers involved were witness to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"As researchers from Louisiana, impacted by a major natural disaster, we felt obligated to understand the environmental chemodynamic effects in the state and develop mathematical means of forecasting concentration levels in future occurrences," said Louis Thibodeaux, Jesse Coates Professor of Chemical Engineering. "This research was undertaken to fully explore what likely pathways of exposure a major catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina might take in the future."

The study has already attracted a great deal of attention from peers within the engineering community, and earned the trio accolades from the publishing journal's editor-in-chief.

"This is an excellent and important study by one of the top research teams in the nation. It will help us better prepare first responders for the additional risks that may be posed by such events," said Domenico Grasso, editor-in-chief and dean and professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont-Burlington. But this is not the first time LSU's College of Engineering has been responsible for such novel and innovative research.

"The Department of Chemical Engineering and the College of Engineering at LSU have long traditions of excellence in environmental science and engineering," said Valsaraj, chair of chemical engineering at LSU. "This is a continuation of that tradition."

Ashley Berthelot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>