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Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon break down toxic pesticides

ey are commercially available, Fe-TAML activators could provide the best available technology for decontaminating large stocks of expired pesticides around the world, according to Collins.

The Collins group already has published extensively (see April 12, 2002 issue of Science) on the use of very small concentrations of Fe-TAML activators and hydrogen peroxide to rapidly and safely break down pentachlorophenol and 2,4,6 trichlorophenol in water at room temperature. These chemicals belong to another major class of compounds, chlorophenols, which are found in pesticides, disinfectants, wood preservatives and other products. Some of these compounds are federally regulated, given their inherent persistence, their inherent toxicity and their propensity to decay under natural oxidizing conditions into long-lived dioxins. Dioxins accumulate in tissues of animals and are linked with a variety of ailments, including cancer.

Further laboratory research is needed, according to Collins, before the Fe-TAML activators and hydrogen peroxide could be deployed in field testing for pesticide degradation.

Fe-TAML activators originated at Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Green Oxidation Chemistry under the leadership of Collins, a strong proponent of green chemistry to create environmentally friendly, sustainable technologies. Fe-TAML activators show enormous potential to provide clean, safe alternatives to existing industrial practices. They also provide ways to remediate other pressing problems that currently lack solutions. The pesticide degradation research was supported partially by the Eden Hall Foundation of Pittsburgh.

As part of this September's American Chemical Society meeting symposium, "Green Chemistry: Multidisciplinary Science and Engineering Applied to Global Environmental Issues," the Collins group will present results of Fe-TAML activators' effectiveness in killing a simulant of a biological warfare agent, reducing fuel
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Contact: Lauren Ward
wardle@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-7761
Carnegie Mellon University
10-Sep-2003


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