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February 10th, 2005
Nanotech shows promise for cheaper Superfund cleanup
They're scattered all around the United States, more than 1,200 of them, waiting for cleanup. Some are old military bases or abandoned factories. Others are gas stations with leaky underground tanks. And they're only the beginning of a long, arduous task.
One solution is to find cheaper cleanup technologies. One of the most promising innovations right now involves microscopic iron particles. At least four teams of researchers are using these "nanoparticles" to attack some of the most vexing underground pollutants, including chromium-6, the groundwater pollutant made famous in the movie "Erin Brockovich."
Oregon Health & Science University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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