Dr. Nasim Pica is a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Jens Blotevogel in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. She has a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Colorado State University. Dr. Pica’s research interests include fate and transport of emerging contaminants, sustainable water reuse, the food-energy-water nexus and non-traditional water resources. Currently, she is working on developing sustainable solutions for the treatment of 1,4-dioxane, perfluorinated and chlorinated compounds.
Bioelectrochemical oxidation of persistent groundwater contaminants: From 1,4-dioxane to PFAS
Electrochemical oxidation is an emerging technology capable of mineralizing even the most persistent groundwater contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This talk focuses on synergistic effects in the coupling of electrochemical with biological oxidation. Using doped tin oxide electrodes in flow-through reactors augmented with Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB 1190, 1,4-dioxane concentrations were sustainably reduced from 105,000 ?g/L by some five orders of magnitude to below our detection limit of 3 ?g/L, demonstrating the technology’s capability of reaching regulatory limits. While the strong metabolic inhibitor 1,1-dichloroethene was removed from the aqueous phase by >99 %, slower removal rates for 1,4-dioxane were still observed. Furthermore, we will explore the efficacy of a fungal Phanerochaete chrysosporium culture in combination with boron-doped diamond (BDD) anodes for the destruction of PFAS. Our results demonstrate that bioelectrochemical oxidation is a promising approach for treatment of persistent organics in mixed contaminant plumes.