Cjestmir de Boer

Mobility and Longevity of pre-Synthesis Stabilized Nano-scale Zero Valent Iron in Natural Porous Media

The goal of the project is to develop nano-scale zero valent iron (nZVI) to treat volatile organic carbon (VOC) contamination in the subsurface. This technology consists of pumping nanometals into the subsurface, that then flow with groundwater to a contaminated region, and then convert hazardous chemicals (ie. trichloroethene) to benign daughter products (ie. ethane). Zero valent iron has been shown to be effective in removing these contaminants in batch experiments. So far transport was mainly tested using commercially available nZVI, however these studies suggest that further work is required as commercial nZVI was prone to aggregation, resulting in low physical stability of the suspension and very short travel distances in the subsurface.

In this project nZVI is stabilized during synthesis to increase the physical suspension stability. However it is important to note that physical stability of the suspension should not be at the expense of decreased reactivity towards the contaminants. Therefore the synthesis will be optimized to produce the most stable suspension which is still reactive and stays reactive for an acceptable duration. Furthermore the stabilizing compounds should give a positive effect on the microbial activity in the subsurface after the reactivity of nZVI ceased. To reach this goal, column experiments and batch experiments will be performed to aid numerical simulations for long term reactivity predictions.

Personal Background

Cjestmir joined the RESTORE group in August 2012. He completed his MSc (2007) in Environmental Hydrogeology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands and his PhD (2012) in Environmental Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Both his MSc and PhD research focused on the transport of commercially available nZVI during injection into the subsurface. He performed his research in the Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation (VEGAS) of the University of Stuttgart. He is experienced in building testing facilities ranging in scale from small batch systems to field pilot scale systems for testing of innovative remediation techniques. At Western he will continue his work on testing the transport of nZVI by extending the research using pre-synthesis stabilized nZVI and looking into the reactivity and longevity of this new stabilized nZVI to ultimately optimize the synthesized nZVI for field application.

Email: Cjestmir.deBoer@uwo.ca
Personal website


de Boer, C.; Sharma, P. and O'Carroll,D.M., Transport of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes in Partially Saturated Porous Media, Gordon Research Conference - Environmental Nanotechnology (June 2-7, 2013, Stowe, Vermont, USA)

de Boer, C.; Braun, J. & Klaas, N. (2010), Chemical Reduction of PCE by Zero Valent Iron Colloids - Comparison of Batch and Column Experiments, in '4th International Symposium on Permeable Reactive Barriers & Reactive Zones (PRB/RZ-2010) (6. - 8. July 2010, Antwerp, Belgium)'.

de Boer, C.; Klaas, N. & Braun, J. (2010), Measuring Techniques to Monitor the Application of Nano-Sized Zero-Valent Iron for Subsurface Remediation, in 'VEGAS-Kolloquium 2010 In-Situ-Sanierung - Stand und Entwicklung Nano und ISCO', Eigenverlag, Institut für Wasserbau, Universität Stuttgart, (7. October 2010, Stuttgart, Germany), pp. 91-99.

de Boer, C.; Braun, J. & Klaas, N. (2010), Transport of zero-valent iron colloids in aquifers, in UFZ-Deltares/TNO, ed., '11th International UFZ- Deltares/TNO Conference on Management of Soil, Groundwater and Sediment (ConSoil 2010) (22. - 24. September 2010, Salzburg, Austria)', pp. ThS A13.

de Boer, C.; Klaas, N.; Braun, J. & Steiert, S. (2010), Transport und Reaktivität von nullwertigen Eisenkolloiden im Untergrund, in 'Wasser 2010 - Jahrestagung der Wasserchemischen Gesellschaft' (10. - 12. May 2010, Bayreuth, Germany).

de Boer, C. (2009), Charakteristika und Mobilität von nullwertigem Nano-Eisen in porösen Medien, in 'Altlastensymposium 2009' (23. - 24. April 2009, Würzburg, Germany).

de Boer, C. (2009), Injection of nano-scale iron for the in-situ remediation of contaminated groundwater, in 'Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials'. Nano2009, (7. - 9. September 2009, Vienna, Austria).

de Boer, C.; Braun, J. & Klaas, N. (2009), Injection of Nano-Scale Iron for the In-Situ Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater, in 'International Conference on Non-linearities and Upscaling in Porous Media'. NUPUS, (5. - 7. October 2009, Stuttgart, Germany).

de Boer, C.; Steiert, S.; Klaas, N. & Braun, J. (2008), Reaktivität und Langzeitstabilität von nullwertigem Nano-Eisen bei der Sanierung von Grundwasserschadensfällen, in 'VEGAS-Kolloquium 2008, Ressource Fläche III', (1. Oktober 2008, Stuttgart, Germany), pp. 113-122.

de Boer, C.; Braun, J.; Klaas, N. & Steiert, S. (2008), 'Injection of Nano-Scale Iron for the In-Situ Remediation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in Soil and Groundwater' 'Flow & Transport in Permeable Media', Gordon Research Conferences, (13 - 18 July, Magdalan College, Oxford, United Kingdom).

de Boer, C.; Klaas, N. & Braun, J. (2007), Injektion von Nano-Eisen zur LHKW-Sanierung - Ergebnisse aus VEGAS-Laboruntersuchungen., in H.-P. & M. Stuhrmann Braun, J.; Koschitzky, ed., 'VEGAS-Statuskolloquium 2007', (26. September 2007, Stuttgart, Germany), Eigenverlag, Institut für Wasserbau, Universität Stuttgart.

de Boer, C. & Klaas, N. (2006), Grundlagenuntersuchungen zum hydraulischen Verhalten von Nano-Eisen im Aquifer, in 'VEGAS - Statuskolloquium 2006', (28. - 28. September 2006, Stuttgart, Germany), pp. 88-94.


Li, H.; de Boer, C.; Buchau, A.; Klaas, N.; Rucker, W. & Hermes, H. (2012), 'Development of an inductive concentration measurement sensor of nano sized zero valent iron', International Multi-Conference on Systems, Signals and Devices, SSD 2012 - Summary Proceedings 'Conference of 9th International Multi-Conference on Systems, Signals and Devices, SSD 2012'. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/SSD.2012.6198042

Buchau, A.; Rucker, W.; de Boer, C. & Klaas, N. (2010), 'Inductive detection and concentration measurement of nano sized zero valent iron in the subsurface', IET Science, Measurement & Technology 4(6), 289-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/iet-smt.2009.0116


Klaas, N. C.; Buchau, A. & de Boer, C. V. (2010), 'Induktive in-situ-Messtechnik für elementare Metalle bei der Sanierung von Grundwasserkontaminationen mit Metallkolloiden'(DE102009047858A1), Patent: DE102009047858A1. (English: 'Inductive in-situ measuring technique for elementary metals at groundwater remediation with colloidal metals ')

Klaas, N. C.; Steiert, S.; de Boer, C. V. & Ruck, W. (2010), 'Stabilisierung des pH-Werts bei wässrigen Suspensionen von Metallpartikeln'(DE102009012834A1), Patent: DE102009012834A1. (Enlish: 'Stabilization of the pH-value in water suspensions of colloidal metals')