Event Title

Remediation of PCBs and Mercury from Green Bay Lake Sediment

Mentor 1

Marcia Silva

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

5-4-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2019 3:30 PM

Description

The Lower Green Bay and Fox River estuary was labeled an area of concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement due to extensive industrial contamination. Among many pollutants found in the region, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are of great interest because of the substantial health hazards associated with them in addition to their persistence in the environment. While several congeners of PCBs can be found in the Lower Green Bay, one of the most abundant is Aroclor 1242 which is a well-known carcinogen. Mercury targets several vital organs and the central nervous system, causing a wide range of medical ailments. After these contaminants have been introduced into the environment, it is extremely difficult to remove them because of their high affinity to sediment. Currently the most common method to remediate the contaminated sediment in the region is dredging, a process which arguably does more harm than good as it tends to resuspend contaminated sediment allowing for further transport over a greater area. The goal of this project is to develop a material that PCBs and mercury have a higher affinity to so that the process can be less invasive while reducing the overall cost. Preliminary data shows that a natural porous material, after subsequent treatment and surficial modification, is capable of removing mercury and PCBs from contaminated sediment.

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Apr 5th, 1:30 PM Apr 5th, 3:30 PM

Remediation of PCBs and Mercury from Green Bay Lake Sediment

Union Wisconsin Room

The Lower Green Bay and Fox River estuary was labeled an area of concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement due to extensive industrial contamination. Among many pollutants found in the region, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are of great interest because of the substantial health hazards associated with them in addition to their persistence in the environment. While several congeners of PCBs can be found in the Lower Green Bay, one of the most abundant is Aroclor 1242 which is a well-known carcinogen. Mercury targets several vital organs and the central nervous system, causing a wide range of medical ailments. After these contaminants have been introduced into the environment, it is extremely difficult to remove them because of their high affinity to sediment. Currently the most common method to remediate the contaminated sediment in the region is dredging, a process which arguably does more harm than good as it tends to resuspend contaminated sediment allowing for further transport over a greater area. The goal of this project is to develop a material that PCBs and mercury have a higher affinity to so that the process can be less invasive while reducing the overall cost. Preliminary data shows that a natural porous material, after subsequent treatment and surficial modification, is capable of removing mercury and PCBs from contaminated sediment.