NSF Awards $225,000 to Clarkson College Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor for PFAS Remedy

Professor Yang Yang is pictured in his lab
Professor Yang Yang is pictured in his lab

The Nationwide Science Basis has awarded $225,000 to Clarkson College Civil & Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Yang Yang for his analysis on a brand new technique to take away per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) from water.

PFAS are a gaggle of chemical compounds which were extensively used for many years. As components in quite a few shopper merchandise, they’ve many fascinating properties, together with distinctive chemical resistance.

Nonetheless, this property makes it very tough to take away them from water utilizing present therapy processes. Their chemical stability additionally makes PFAS persist within the atmosphere, inflicting vital issues for human and ecological well being. They’re discovered within the blood of individuals and animals all around the world and have been linked to kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid illness, and low start weight and immunotoxicity in kids.

One promising option to deal with PFAS in water into benign finish merchandise is electrochemical oxidation. Scientists and engineers have been exploring numerous methods to reinforce efficiency, together with using nanotechnology-enabled catalysts. Nonetheless, costly metals are sometimes required on this method, and selective destruction of PFAS within the water that accommodates numerous different natural compounds has been difficult.

Yang’s analysis, titled “ERASE-PFAS: Collaborative Analysis: Nickel and Palladium Single-Atom Electrocatalysts for Selective Seize and Destruction of PFAS in Advanced Water Matrices,” addresses these drawbacks by growing next-generation catalysts that may selectively bind with and destroy PFAS, even when the water accommodates many different compounds.

Yang and his crew will pursue this aim by manipulating metallic catalysts to be atomically dispersed, a course of generally known as ‘single-atom catalysis’ (SAC). SAC is the theoretical restrict of downsizing supplies and represents the state-of-science development past nanotechnology.

Yang has years of expertise in electrocatalysis, water therapy, and PFAS evaluation. Becoming a member of him on the analysis crew might be Yale Henry P. Becton Sr. Professor and Chair of Chemical & Environmental Engineering Jaehong Kim, an internationally identified skilled in nanotech-enabled water therapy expertise.

Clarkson’s Heart for Air and Aquatic Assets Engineering and Sciences (CAARES) Lab is the cornerstone of this mission and can present cutting-edge PFAS analytical devices and companies.

Learn extra about this analysis at https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2120452.

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