Michael Quamme

Michael Quamme is a Master of Science student in the Environmental Engineering program in Civil Engineering Department at North Dakota State University (NDSU). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from NDSU. His present research is focused on remediation of selenium from surface and groundwater using nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI).

Email: michael.quamme@ndsu.edu
Phone: 507-301-9098

Selenium Removal from Surface and Groundwater Using Iron Nanoparticles

Fellow: Michael Quamme

Advisor: Achintya Bezbaruah, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, North Dakota State University.

Degree Progress: M.S. in Environmental Engineering expected graduation date fall 2012.


The main objective of this project is to determine the effectiveness of NZVI for remediation of selenium (Se). Se(VI) and Se(IV) are the predominant forms of Se in natural waters, and Se(VI) will be used in the study as it is the predominant form of Se and it is more difficult to treat than the reduced species [Se(IV), Se(0), and Se(II)]. Investigations on the kinetics of Se removal using bare NZVI and coated NZVI, effects of pH, NZVI concentration, as well as selectivity of NZVI in the presence of interfering ions will be conducted in this study. Column studies will be done to determine the ability of alginate coated NZVI to remove Se in a continuous process and determine its potential use in a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) for in-situ use.

Project Objectives:

The main objective of this study is to investigate the interactions between iron nanoparticles and selenium. The specific objectives include:

  • Production and characterization of NZVI (completed)
  • Study the mechanism of Se removal using by NZVI (In progress)
  • Determination of the isotherm to best describe the Se:NZVI interaction (In progress)
  • Bench scale column studies (To be completed)


Preliminary batch tests were conducted with 1 g NZVI/L. The samples tested were from a contaminated stream having an initial Se concentration of 34 μg/L with removal below the detection limits (<1 μg/L) after 3 h.This demonstrates a great affinity for Se to NZVI even in the presence of interfering ions.

Research Outcomes:

Conference poster/paper
(1) Quamme, M.; Almeelbi, T.; Bezbaruah, A. Removal of Selenium from Surface Waters using Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron, UND/NDSU/SDSU Summit, Grand Forks, ND. (Poster)
(2) Quamme, M.; Almeelbi, T.; Bezbaruah, A. Selenium Removal from Surface Waters: Exploratory Research with Iron Nanoparticles, EWRI International Conference , Albuquerque, NM, 2012. (Oral Presentation)

A Bezbaruah


Advisor: Achintya Bezbaruah, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering,
North Dakota State University

Phone: (701) 231-7461
Fax: (701) 231-6185