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Workshop / Seminar

AER/I Seminar

Fulmer Hall
room 125
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About the event

First Speaker: Kaylie McCracken
Group: Bell Group
Title: Electrochemical Extraction of Metals from Electronic Waste
Abstract: The removal of metals from electronic waste is a growing concern, as millions of tons of e-waste are disposed of around the globe each year. Many of these metals, including noble metals and rare earth elements, are valuable for reuse. In addition to their monetary value, metals in e-waste are usually harmful to the environment; their recovery for recycling would reduce the amount that is deposited in landfills. The rapid growth in demand for electronics has increased production of these devices. Without efficient recycling and recovery infrastructure, many obsolete devices containing valuable metals are disposed of in landfills around the world. Electrochemical recovery of metals from e-waste can provide a cost-efficient and promising route for the removal of various toxic metals from otherwise discarded products. Electrochemical methods, with electricity as its main reagent, could lower environmental and monetary costs of mining finite resources, and as a result, decrease the cost of electronic devices that have become critical tools in modern life. The implementation of electrochemical recovery of metals is expected to decrease the industrial cost of recycling e-waste, which could reduce the need for extractive mining of certain metals.

Second Speaker: Benjamin Rooney-Sailand
Group: Moreau Group
Title: The implications of actinide environmental mobility on remediating nuclear contamination
Abstract: Contamination from U.S. Nuclear activity continues to be a concern to human health, safety, and the environment. Uranium and plutonium are key radioactive contaminants of interest due to their prevalence in nuclear energy and national security activities. Mobility of these actinides varies based on the stable electron configurations, which vary with actinide speciation and environmental conditions. Additionally, products of nuclear fission and the nuclear fuel cycle, along with actinide daughter decay products, complicate environmental models. This discussion will delve into how actinides are able to mobilize in the environment and will conjecture on how we might be able to use this information to our advantage when considering remediation options. This talk will survey actinide mobility mechanisms and strategies for environmental remediation based on these mechanisms, that are highlighted in current literature. Specific case studies will be highlighted, including the fractionation of rocks, interface interactions that promote immobilization of actinides and the sequestration of actinides by microbes. What these mechanisms share will be debriefed as we consider how to apply this knowledge to environmental remediation strategies.