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$6 million appropriation to focus Sandia research on drinking water desalination, removal of arsenic

> The pilot-scale testing program, led by Sandia researcher Malcolm Siegel, will evaluate a variety of innovative approaches to reduce the cost of arsenic treatment for small communities, and will specifically address the needs of Native American communities. One of the best treatment methods is the use of adsorbents, natural or man-made materials that have been designed for the purpose of removing arsenic and other contaminants.

The materials are packed into containers through which untreated water is forced. The arsenic is adsorbed by the material, and the water comes out arsenic free; the material can then disposed of in landfills or regenerated for further use. Systems can be large enough to treat enough drinking water for large communities or can be small enough to sit under a kitchen sink.

Sandia researchers already have developed one type of adsorbent that has been shown to work, the Specific Anion Nanoengineered Sorbents (SANS). Others are also being researched.

"The strict arsenic standards that take effect in 2006 are placing a tremendous burden on rural communities that simply can't afford to meet the standard," Domenici says. "With this appropriation, we are investing in scientific expertise at Sandia to try to develop technologies that will allow the standards to be met in the most cost-effective manner."


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Contact: Chris Burroughs
coburro@sandia.gov
505-844-0948
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
28-Jun-2004


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