Materials Core

    Lavrent Khachatryan (Leader) and Slawo Lomnicki

    Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFRs) are pollutant-particle systems formed during thermal treatment (TT) of organic materials and other hazardous substances commonly found at Superfund remediation sites.  Approximately 30% of all Superfund sites are remediated using TT and nearly 53 million people live within 3 miles of a Superfund site. This suggests that many US residents are at risk of inhalation exposure to PM containing EPFRs.

    The Materials Core’s (MC) main purpose is to provide combustion-borne PM that contain EPFRs to the research Projects for the study of their properties and health effects. The MC will also provide analytical expertise to all projects in respect to chemical analysis and thermal decomposition analysis of samples, as needed by the Projects.

    Synthesize EPFRs

    The MC has developed and optimized the necessary technologies and procedures to make EPFRs in the laboratory as well as retrieve samples from sampling matrices.  The MC will provide three types of EPFRs to the Center’s biomedical and environmental science and engineering projects:

    • Simple EPFR (s-EPFR) – Laboratory generated samples containing matrix (cabosil) and supported metal oxide (copper, iron, or nickel), exposed to EPFR precursor at 230°C
    • Complex EPFR (c-EPFR) – More complex samples produced in a two section combustion reactor (TSCR) with controlled content of metal (iron), EPFR, and creosote combustion by-products
    • Field EPFR (f-EPFR) – Samples collected in the field near Superfund or TT sites by Project 3 and characterized by the MC

    Provide Analytical and Technical Support

    The MC will perform full characterization of all EPFR samples (s-EPFR and c-EPFR), including EPFR density/concentration (radicals/g of sample), chemical composition, and metal speciation. These data will be included with each sample batch in the form of a certificate of analysis. The MC is also tasked with the analysis of all samples collected during the sampling events within Project 3 (f-EPFRs). These samples will be characterized and stored by the MC and distributed to the Projects upon request.