SURF

Ila Shimabuku

Peroxide and Persulfate in ISCO

In Situ Chemical Oxidation – A Close Look at Peroxide and Persulfate Benzene is an organic compound that causes birth defects, cancer, a decrease in red blood cells and many other health impediments upon inhalation. Benzene is just one of many toxic chemicals flowing through our groundwater. Pumping out contaminated water to treat harmful chemicals is ineffective because it is too inefficient and slow, which is why in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) is necessary. ISCO degrades harmful compounds in the soil, removing both the cost of pumping and injecting groundwater as well as the ecological impact of injecting wells and removing large quantities of water. There is a gap in knowledge surrounding ISCO regarding persulfate and peroxide, which are oxidants that are currently used by industry in ISCO. My research objective is to demonstrate how these two oxidants will trigger each other and become reactive intermediates, which then oxidize contaminants. I hypothesize that there is an optimum ratio of concentrations for these oxidants when coupled, as well as optimum conditions; one of which includes pH, which may elicit the most efficient usage of peroxide and persulfate. By finding which circumstances produce optimal chemical efficiency, there is foreseeable potential for removing pollutants from our groundwater.

Message to Sponsor

Words cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to be sponsored for the SURF program. Not only do we have the chance to further our education at Cal by hands on experience, independent development, and learning critical thinking skills but I do not have to worry about making enough money to afford living in Berkeley. I feel extremely blessed to have the staff care so much about each one of us so that we can be taught how to conduct our research experience through workshops, lectures, and bonding with other SURF fellows. I will never forget the valuable experience that I have been fortunate to receive this summer thanks to the Rose Hills Foundation and the SURF Program!
  • Major: Civil Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: David Sedlak, Civil and Environmental Engineering