Since 1992, West Virginia University has managed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Technology that facilitates the collaboration of university researchers with industrial partners. Through its Civil and Environmental Engineering Department led by Dr. Echol Cook, WVU fosters collaborations that are finding solutions to tough environmental problems faced by OST. WVU’s deployment assistance under this cooperative agreement has resulted in the field testing and large-scale demonstrations of environmental technologies. A diverse group of projects, focusing on technologies in latter stages of maturation, support OST in the areas of subsurface contaminants, mixed waste, deactivation and decommissioning, and efficient separations.

Among the sponsored research projects are:

Demonstrating drain-enhanced soil flushing for contaminants removal (see page 12, this issue)

Analyzing Vortec’s Cyclone Melting System (see Initiatives, October 1996) for remediation of polychlorinated biphenyl-contaminated soils. This project, jointly worked by WVU and Vortec Corporation researchers, is redesigning components from Vortec’s Cyclone Melting System to retrofit it for remediating PCB-contaminated soils via ex situ vitrification.

Producing and evaluating biosorbents and cleaning solutions for deactivation and decommissioning. WVU researchers from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department are evaluating biosorbents and cleaning solutions produced by the Institute of Gas Technology.

Using SpinTek’s centrifugal membrane technology (see Initiatives, October 1996) for D&D. This project uses SpinTek’s centrifugal membrane technology to filter the sorbents/cleaning agents developed through the efforts of the IGT biosorbents project. Another project that SpinTek is participating in is exploring the use of novel membranes to expand the number of wastes that can be treated with SpinTek’s centrifugal membrane technology. A third SpinTek project is developing an optimum configuration to improve the capacity of the rotating filtration system with respect to energy consumption and cost.

Using environmental pollution control devices based on novel forms of carbon. Carbon Materials Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Applied Sciences, Inc., Concurrent Technologies Corporation, and Swanson Plating Company, along with WVU researchers, are assessing the feasibility of an electrochemical system that uses high-surface-area carbon devices to remove heavy metals from aqueous streams. The technology can also remove some radionuclides from water.