This section describes my Senior Design Project at Rice University.

Project Overview

For decades after World War II, over 100,000 sites in the US were used to dispose of chlorinated solvents, which were commonly used in industry for cleaning, dry cleaning, degreasing, pesticide manufacturing [1], and manufacturing vinylidene chloride, HFC-143a, and other chemicals [2]. However, chlorinated solvents are now known to be extremely hazardous, as this class of chemicals includes known carcinogens. These chlorinated solvents have contaminated groundwater at 15,000 of these sites [1], and this contamination threatens humans and the environment. A barrier to the treatment of chlorinated solvent contaminant sites is that low-permeability clays and silts in the subsurface store and slowly release contaminants for a long period of time, which extends remediation project lifetimes and operation and maintenance costs. Conventional treatment methods for these areas are generally sufficient to treat permeable zones, while treating low-permeability zones remains expensive and ineffective. Our aim was to address these shortcomings and develop a treatment method that is effective, consistent, cost-effective, and rapid.

Final Solution and Presentation

The final solution was presented at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) Engineering Design Showcase at Rice University in April of 2017. Our poster presentation with a summary of the final proposed solution (also available through our team page on the OEDK website) is shown below:


My teammates for this project were Jeremy Dowell, Yasmine Filali-Adib, Daniel Fan, Mickyle Stanbury, and Alura Vincent. Our faculty sponsor at Rice University was Dr. Matthew Elliott. The project was sponsored by the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and GSI Environmental. This project was funded by the Department of Defense Environmental SecurityTechnology and Certification Program (ESTCP).
Team Aquiferst Aid at the 2017 Rice Engineering Design Showcase


[1] Sale, Tom, Charles Newell J., Hans Stroo, and Paul Johnson C. “Frequently AskedQuestions Regarding Management of Chlorinated Solvents in Soils and Groundwater.” 01July 2008. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. [2] “C2 Chlorinated Solvents.” Chemical Economics Handbook. IHS Markit, Sept. 2014.Web. 16 Oct. 2016.<​​>.

[3]National Research Council; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Water Science andTechnology Board; Committee on Future Options for Management in the Nation’sSubsurface Remediation Effort. “Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s ComplexContaminated Groundwater Sites.” ​The National Academies Press​. The National AcademiesPress, 07 Nov. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.