Sustainable Zero-Valent Metal (ZVM) Water Treatment Associated with Diffusion, Infiltration, Abstraction, and Recirculation
Socio-economic, climate and agricultural stress on water resources have resulted in increased global demand for water while at the same time the proportion of potential water resources which are adversely affected by sodification/salinisation, metals, nitrates, and organic chemicals has increased. Nano-zero-valent metal (n-ZVM) injection or placement in aquifers offers a potential partial solution. However, n-ZVM application results in a substantial reduction in aquifer permeability, which in turn can reduce the amount of water that can be abstracted from the aquifer. This study using static diffusion and continuous flow reactors containing n-ZVM and m-ZVM (ZVM filaments, filings and punchings) has established that the use of m-ZVM does not result in a reduction in aquifer permeability. The experimental results are used to design and model m-ZVM treatment programs for an aquifer (using recirculation or static diffusion). They also provide a predictive model for water quality associated with specific abstraction rates and infiltration/injection into an aquifer. The study demonstrates that m-ZVM treatment requires 1% of the weight required for n-ZVM treatment for a specific flow rate. It is observed that 1 t Fe 0 will process 23,500 m 3 of abstracted or infiltrating water. m-ZVM is able to remove >80% of nitrates from flowing water and adjust the water composition (by reduction) in an aquifer to optimize removal of nitrates, metals and organic compounds. The experiments demonstrate that ZVM treatment of an aquifer can be used to reduce groundwater salinity by 20 –> 45% and that an aquifer remediation program can be designed to desalinate an aquifer. Modeling indicates that widespread application of m-ZVM water treatment may reduce global socio-economic, climate and agricultural stress on water resources. The rate of oxygen formation during water reduction [by ZVM (Fe 0 , Al 0 and Cu 0 )] controls aquifer permeability, the associated aquifer pH , aquifer Eh and the degree of water treatment that occurs.
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