Kurt Pfitzer reports that engineers are usimg advanced imaging techniques to examine bimetallic materials that have remediated more than 50 toxic waste sites, for PhysOrg.com:
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Iron nanoparticles 1,000 times thinner than a human hair have demonstrated an unprecedented ability to clean contaminated groundwater since they were invented 10 years ago at Lehigh.
The palladium-coated particles have remediated more than 50 toxic waste sites in the U.S. and other countries in one-tenth the time, and at a much greater economy of scale, than traditional “pump and treat” methods.
Now, thanks to Lehigh’s unrivaled electron microscopy and spectroscopy facilities, researchers have gained unmatched insights that could improve the efficiency and extend the applications
of the powerful nanoparticles.
The researchers used scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) to capture, for the first time, the evolution in the nanostructure of the bimetallic particles as they remove contaminants in water.