Prabhakar Sharma

(1) Real World Soil-NAPL Wettability: Tools for Site Assessment and Implications for Site Remediation. (2) Mobility of Engineered Nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes) in the Subsurface.

This study focuses on a long term improvement in remediation of NAPL impacted industrial sites by using real soil-NAPL samples from the contaminated field sites. The main objectives of this project are the development of an analytical tool for wettability characterization at brownfield sites, the validation of a robust constitutive model for field NAPL-soil systems, and an assessment of the impacts of wettability on remediation technologies for NAPL-wet soils.
The carbon nanotubes have several industrial applications due to their specific properties and so the understanding of flow and transport behavior of Carbon naotubes in the subsurface system is necessary. The transport behavior of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) will be investigated in saturated as well as unsaturated subsurface system.

Personal Background

Prabhakar Sharma has focused his research on the problem associated with contamination of ground-water, because maintenance of the quality of ground-water reserve as well as their optimal use are necessary. Although, his strategy has shifted with time, his research objective remains focused on ground-water quality issues. Prabhakar completed his Bachelor of Technology in 2000 in Agricultural Engineering with major in Water Resources Engineering and later moved to Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) for Master of Technology in Aquacultural Engineering. He further got an opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering & Management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. In 2004, he moved to Washington State University for his higher studies and completed PhD in 2007 and developed his expertise in Colloid and Colloid Facilitated Transport (for saturated and unsaturated porous media). He recently worked for two years at Aalborg University as a postdoctoral employ in gas flow through porous media to quantify dispersion as a function of physical factors such as pore size distribution, water content of the medium, and gas flow rates to understand the migration of landfill gas and odor removal from biocovers and bioreactors. He also developed an experimental tool to measure the effect of wind speed situation over the ground surface on gas dispersion (called pressure induced dispersion), a common situation for the movement of landfill gas from upper ground surface and also the case of possible entry of radon gases inside the building due to high wind speed.
He became part of RESTORE group at UWO now and started working mainly with wettability of soil-NAPL system and nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes) transport through porous media.

Travel and Awards

  • Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation Scholarship, Denmark: 2008 - 2010
  • Finalist, poster competition for Environmental & Subsurface Science Symposium, Inland Northwest Research Alliance, Big Sky, Montana: 2005
  • Subsurface Science Graduate Research Fellowship, Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA): 2004 - 2006
  • Graduate Aptitude Test Examination (GATE) Fellowship, Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India: 2000 - 2002
  • MERIT Scholarship for the outstanding academic performance during the undergraduate program: 1996 - 2000