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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>