UNIVERSITY of Newcastle researchers say they are on track to finding a solution to the chemical contamination that has dogged Williamtown residents for years.
University of Newcastle Priority Centre for Geotechnical Science and Engineering's Dr Brett Turner and Laureate Professor Scott Sloan are investigating the use of hemp seed proteins to treat water and soil contamination with per-and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The federal government allocated $4.7 million over five years towards the work in the 2019-2020 budget. That includes $2.4 million for remediation using nanoparticles and $2.3 million using plant proteins.
Dr Turner said his team's early findings would be applied to the complexities of contaminated soil as their research went on.
"We found that hemp has a remarkable affinity for PFAS chemicals in groundwater, so we expect that this can be applied to remediate contaminated soil - an area where currently there are no options," Dr Turner said.
Professor Sloan, the 2015 NSW Scientist of the Year, said the next step was finding a cost-effective way of removing the chemical compounds naturally.
"We are excited about the potential benefits for the residents around our local RAAF base at Williamtown, and for other affected communities worldwide," Laureate Professor Sloan said.
- courtesy Newcastle Herald.