Application of Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron Technology for Treatment of Contaminated Sediments
The University of New South Wales
UNSW Water Research Centre
Two APAI PhD scholarships are available via an ARC Linkage grant (2011 – 2013) to investigate the treatment of benthic sediments contaminated with chlorinated organic compounds using nanoscale zero-valent iron technology. Research into innovative treatment technologies for contaminated sediments is especially relevant to Australia, where natural waterways offer significant value in terms of natural beauty, heritage, recreational use, and commercial and industrial importance.
The UNSW Water Research Centre, in collaboration with private, public, and international partners, has recently commenced a three-year ARC Linkage project building upon its previous work on the application of nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) for environmental remediation. The intended outcomes of this project are the synthesis of supported nZVI particles for the in situ remediation of contaminated sediments, and the evaluation of their ability to degrade selected organic contaminants under conditions typical of benthic sediments. Studies will be designed to gain an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and processes that influence contaminant degradation by nZVI particles in order to determine the most effective methods for synthesis and application in sediment environments. The performance of supported nZVI particles for in situ remediation of contaminated sediments will be evaluated through targeted field trials. Given recent work by partner organisations on the application of activated carbon for the treatment of contaminated sediments, it is expected that research will focus on activated carbon supported nZVI particles, though other methods for particle stabilisation and/or supports may be considered.
The project will be undertaken at the UNSW Water Research Centre within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW (Kensington Campus). There will be substantial collaboration with private, public, and international partner organisations. Laboratory studies will be based at UNSW, and field studies will take place within the Sydney metro area.
Suitable candidates should have a background in chemistry, environmental science, or chemical and/or environmental engineering with experience in laboratory analytical techniques such as GC-MS and ICP, and a demonstrated aptitude for laboratory work. Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree of at least Honours 1 or 2A standard or equivalent.
Two PhD scholarships are available for a period of up to three years. A tax exempt stipend of up to $30,000 per annum will be provided. Selected students should be prepared to undertake international visits and to present research findings at local and international conferences (expenses paid). Students should be prepared to undertake undergraduate tutoring responsibilities. Selected students are expected to commence studies in Semester 1, 2011.
Further information on the project and scholarships on offer may be obtained from Prof David Waite (email: d.waite[ at ]unsw.edu.au) or Dr Chris Duesterberg (email: c.duesterberg[ at ]unsw.edu.au). Applications for the scholarships should include a cover letter, academic transcript and/or record, CV, and the names of two referees, and should be submitted to Dr Duesterberg, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia.