Arizona Department of Health Services and UA SBRP Working Together

Oct. 8, 2006

Due to the networking and communication efforts of the UA SBRP Research Translation and Administrative Cores, three Environmental and Chemical Engineering graduate students from Dr. Wendell Ela’s research group have been able to take advantage of utilizing the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), state of the art laboratories in Phoenix, Arizona.

All are looking at how to safely dispose of arsenic in Municipal Solid Waste landfills. The students are:

Jacqueline Shaw, an Environmental Engineering Masters student, is testing a variety of arsenic bearing sorbent media to determine their As loading capacity and ability to retain the arsenic during various leaching tests.

Jilei Shan, a Chemical Engineering PhD student, is working on recrystallizing the arsenic in arsenic bearing solid residuals to one of its natural mineralogic phases and to identify which are most stable under landfill conditions.

Fernando Alday, an Environmental Engineering PhD student, is performing redox experiments on ABSRs and looking at how much arsenic and iron are in the leachate from simulated landfill columns.

Each student works in the Inorganic Element laboratory at ADHS and is assisted by ADHS Laboratory Manager, Isaac Robert. To date, the student’s have used the ADHS lab 11 times and are pleased with the opportunities and learning experiences this new partnership has provided them. For example, they have learned how to operate the Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emissions Spectrometer, and are able to develop their own methodology and obtain immediate results.  This saves time; relieves the load on heavily used UA instruments; allows them to get hands-on experience with new, state-of-the art equipment; and has exposed them to the functioning of a dedicated analytical facility.

The UA SBRP and AZ DHS are excited about this new partnership and look forward to building upon this collaborative agreement