e-Science Points to Pollution Solutions
Results from a U.K. e-Science project are helping to solve two pressing environmental problems. One finding could help to avoid arsenic contamination of drinking water extracted from man-made wells. Another could lead to improved methods of removing the now-banned industrial chemical dioxin from soil. The results were obtained using e-Science techniques and Grid computing to simulate all the possible interactions between these contaminants and rock or soil.
Arsenic often appears in minerals rich in iron and sulphur, such as pyrite (fools’ gold). Scientists working as part of , a major project funded under the Natural Environment Research Council’s e-Science program, have found out precisely how arsenic is taken up and held in the pyrite structure and the factors likely to lead to its release. “We now know that arsenic replaces the sulphur in pyrite rather than the iron, and that pyrite is likely to dissolve more easily when arsenic is present,” says Dr. Kate Wright, who worked on the project. Further work could identify ways of stabilizing arsenic-containing iron sulphide rock by introducing additives that slow the rate at which it dissolves.
Source: Research Councils UK
2nd EchoGRID Strategic Workshop, 29-30 October 2007, Beijing, China: Towards a Shared EU & Chinese Vision for Grid Research Perspectives... Read more
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