Project 5

"Experimental and Computational Engineering of Novel, Optimized Multicomponent Sorbents for Toxic Mixtures"

The overall objective of Project 5 is to develop multicomponent sorbents and barrier formulations for first responders, frontline personnel, vulnerable populations, and others at the site of a disaster. All materials used as sorbents will be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and will reduce chemical mixture effects and environmental exposures. Previous work has demonstrated the applicability of isothermal analysis, dosimetry, thermodynamics, molecular dynamics simulations, and ecotoxicology models for the determination of surface-chemical interactions and the prediction of effective sorbents for diverse chemicals. These methods will be used to investigate and select sorbents and sorbent combinations that will mitigate chemical mixtures and facilitate the technology transfer of protective products for disaster response. Our aims are based on the central hypothesis that edible sorbents and novel barrier formulations can be included in: (i) food and drinking water, (ii) contaminated lawn and garden soil, (iii) skin protectants, and (iv) personal and home filtration devices to greatly reduce chemical mixture effects following disasters.


This project is developing broad-acting sorbent materials that can be used to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals during and after environmental and man-made disasters. The outcomes of this project will be important for first responders, frontline personnel, vulnerable community members, and others exposed to hazardous chemical substances during disasters and emergencies. Ultimately, the strategy of using multicomponent sorbents and novel barrier formulations will effectively decrease chemical exposures through ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation.

Principal Investigators:


Tim Phillips



Specific aims:

  1. Develop multicomponent, high-capacity sorbents for environmental chemical mixtures.
  2. Develop protective barrier formulations for environmental chemical mixtures.
  3. Disaster Research Response (DR2) – Deploy multicomponent sorbents and barrier formulations at the site of disasters and emergencies.