To complete this project, we need to purchase pesticide and pharmaceutical contaminant reagents for use in laboratory micro-column tests.
The reagents are expensive because they are labeled with radio-chemical tags. The tags allow us to detect the contaminants at very low levels (parts-per-trillion!) when they are dissolved along with background natural organic matter in typical surface waters.
The particular test compounds we select for column experiments will be based upon:
(1) their widespread use, environmental persistence, and frequent detection in water sources,
(2) their associated deleterious human health impacts, and
(3) their difficulty to remove from water by adsorption relative to most other synthetic chemical contaminants.
Point (3) signifies that if treatment using biochar is effective for removal of our selected challenge compounds, it will likely also be very effective for removal of a host of chemical water pollutants.
We will also purchase special kits for detection of our target compounds using an alternative biochemical method. These kits will be used as a cross-check to verify our primary quantitation protocol.
The kits offer the additional capability for compound detection in the field, and will be used to validate our modeling and scale-up approach for translating laboratory data to predict the performance of real-world biochar treatment systems.
We also require a small budget for lab micro-column hardware, and supplies such as tubing and sampling equipment.