Cleaning groundwater with nanoparticles

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Overview

As for the concern of the condition of the environment, it has become more and more pressing. Now is the time that we must think of new ways to solve these monumental problems. One of the most promising answers is nanoparticles. This new technology is now being researched in order to discover all of its potential. Within the environment the benifits seem promising, especially dealing with groundwater clean up.

One major problem is that over the decades different contaminates have been released into the the groundwater. This occurs through inproper disposal and storages of man-made products [1] , causing the groundwater to become unsafe for use. This is where the new technology of nanoparticles comes into play. These particles can be injected deep into the groundwater, where it would have been difficult to get to.

What is groundwater?

Groundwater is any snow, rain, sleet, hail, or lake overflow, which is absorbed through the many layers of rock, soil, and sands. It then settles in an area of gravel and sand only a few feet under the ground we stand on. A pump and well system is used to safely obtain the water, so it can be used for crops, drinking and industrial uses. This is where a majority of all are drinking water comes from. [2]

Contamination

Due to the need to industrialize and some carelessness, a high number of groundwater reserves are contamination. The contamination can be caused by anything on the surface that is absorbed into the ground that is not what. In some areas it may just be the over use of pesticides or rock salt used on road. In other areas you have contamination due to acid rain caused by factories, landfill decompositions, oil leaks and nuclear and hazardous waste leaks. These things not only make the water unsafe to use, it also make the water deadly. Some of these harmful chemicals that can make it into the groundwater are carbon tetrachloride, hexavalent chromium, Technetium-7, nitrates, and even some radioactive ones.

Dangers

Types of remediations

Downside?

The main particle being used and researched at this time is ferritin [ http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/molecules/ferritin.html] . Ferritin is iron that is also found in the blood. Through studies they have found that this particle can reduce contaminates down into a less harmful form [ http://www.spacedaily.com/news/nanotech-04zzq.html]. This can also make the contaminates easier to filter out of the groundwater when in wells. [3]


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