Phytotechnology in the Present and Future: Remedies for Contaminated Soil and Water

Alain Manceau
Director of Research CNRS (DRCE)
Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Maison des Geosciences, Universite J. Fourier

Thursday, April 18, 2013
3:30pm - 4:45pm
129 DeBartolo

Phytotechnology is a low-cost, environmentally-friendly use of plants and associated microbes to contain, remove, or degrade contaminants in soils, sediments, and waters. Application of phytotechnology to toxic trace metals requires a thorough understanding of how this type of contaminant can be altered at the molecular-scale during the treatment process. Different processes will be illustrated with example cases in which cutting-edge synchrotron X-ray imaging, spectroscopic and diffraction tools provide the key required information. Results are useful in formulating more effective approaches that combine phytotechnology and biogeochemical reactions.

Dr. Alain Manceau is currently a Director of Research of Exceptional Class at the French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS). He received his Ph. D. in 1984 from the University of Paris 7. The same year he joined the CNRS in Paris, then moved in 1992 to the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble where he established environmental mineralogy and geochemistry at the Institute for Earth Sciences (ISTerre), a component of the Earth and Planetary Sciences Observatory (OSUG).  His research focuses on environmental mineralogy and biogeochemistry of metal contaminants and trace elements using X-ray structural techniques. In the mid-80s, he initiated a new program on the structure and surface reactivity of phyllosilicates and poorly crystallized Fe oxides. In the early 90s, this program was extended to Mn oxides. In the mid-90s, he pioneered the application of synchrotron radiation techniques for determining the speciation of heavy metals in natural bioinorganic systems, and was a co-lead PI of the French Absorption spectroscopy beamline in Material and Environmental sciences (FAME) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble. In 2002-2003, he was a key developer of a new generation of X-ray microprobe dedicated to the study of environmental materials at the Advanced Light Source of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, while a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Today, he is the lead-PI of the consortium EcoX project at the ESRF funded by the Equipex program from the French government for new infrastructures of scientific excellence. Alain Manceau has authored over 160 articles in the world's leading mineralogy, geochemisty, environmental, and materials science journals, and has received several national and international awards for his research in environmental science. Recently, he was awarded the 2010 CNRS Silver Medal, after receiving the Bronze Medal in 1989.