Lew Semprini, left, and Mitchell Rasmussen in the lab where groundwater-purifying hydrogel beads are made. Credit: OSU College of Engineering
Beads that contain bacteria and a slow-release food supply to sustain them can clean up contaminated groundwater for months on end, maintenance free, research by Oregon State University shows.
The hydrogel beads, which have the consistency of gummy candy and are made with an ingredient used in processed foods, hold the promise for sustained cleanup of groundwater contaminated with dangerous and widely used volatile organic compounds; many of the compounds are listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as likely human carcinogens.
At multiple locations around the country, the chemicals are present at concentrations that far exceed state and federal standards for safe drinking water.
Among the contaminants addressed in…
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