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University of Utah microbubbles clean dirty soil in China
Date:10/12/2010

ct," Hong says. "We hope this restoration project will be the first among many to come for the area. We are fortunate that the Chinese government is aggressively cleaning up this area and willing to tackle challenging issues with new techniques that haven't been used anywhere else. This is a great opportunity for us and China."

The demonstration project began in September and is expected to last three months. The focus is removing heavy metals and other contaminants from the soil. The site is staffed by a team of Chinese managers, engineers, scientists and laborers. The centerpiece of equipment is a HOT reactor, which is a pressurized metal vessel that produces ozone microbubbles. The reactor is currently being used to treat soil, but it can also be used to treat water, algae or sewage waste.

The HOT reactor is placed on the site to be cleaned. Then contaminated soil is excavated and placed into the device. Organic contaminants (hydrocarbons) are removed first by repeatedly pressurizing and depressurizing the reactor with ozone gas, creating microbubbles that degrade the hydrocarbons. Metal contaminants then are removed by adding a chelating agent to extract them, then adding lime to precipitate the contaminants so they can be filtered out and then disposed.

"The clean soil will be used for tree planting on public lands, and the water is recycled and reused in subsequent batches of soil cleanup," Hong says.

If the demonstration is successful, Hong expects the project to be replicated at other sites for different types of contaminants around Lake Taihu. Honde will manage that work. If it is successful, Hong also expects his new method to be applied in the United States and across the world. In addition to Honde, 7Revolutions Energy Technology Fund an investment company based in Salt Lake City and a University of Utah startup has licensed the technology and started a company to explore uses in North America and elsewhere.


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Contact: Thad Kelling
thad.kelling@utah.edu
801-587-8811
University of Utah
Source:Eurekalert  

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