Learning how to make gold decontaminate water

M.S. Wong
Rice University, US

Keywords: gold, nano, water, decontaminate

Summary:

Gold is not a material typically used to clean contaminated water. However, research in the last ten years has shown that gold can be amazingly efficient at removing unwanted chemicals from water. Preparing nano-sized versions of gold metal and combining with another metal are two ways that make this happen. In this talk, I will describe efforts from my laboratory in designing nano-sized palladium-gold materials to break down a variety of water-borne contaminants (like chlorinated solvent compounds, nitrite anions, and nitrophenol) through a chemical process called catalysis. In particular, I will describe our current pilot-scale work with DuPont and Stanford University to remediate an example chlorinated solvent compound using this "PGClear" technology.