Bimetallic nanoparticles break down TCE 100 times faster than bulk catalysts
New research from Rice Universitys Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology finds that nanoparticles of gold and palladium are the most effective catalysts yet identified for remediation of one of the nations most pervasive and troublesome groundwater pollutants, trichloroethene or TCE. The research, conducted by engineers at Rice and the Georgia Institute of Technology, will appear next month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society.
"The advantages of palladium-based TCE remediation are well-documented, but so is the cost," said lead researcher Michael Wong, assistant professor of chemical engineering and chemistry at Rice. "Using nanotechnology, we were able to maximize the number of palladium atoms that come in contact with TCE molecules and improve efficiency by several orders of magnitude over bulk palladium catalysts."
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