Zero Valent Iron

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What is Emulsified Zero Valent Iron?
Definition and Application

Emulsified zero valent iron (also known as EZVI) is a specialized form of zero valent iron (ZVI) that is prepared as an emulsion, typically consisting of water, emulsified edible oil, and ZVI particles. The emulsion forms a stable suspension of tiny ZVI droplets within the aqueous phase. EZVI is designed to enhance the delivery and reactivity of ZVI in subsurface remediation applications.

The emulsification process involves dispersing the ZVI particles in water with the aid of biological oil substrate and emulsifying agents such as guar gum. These agents help to stabilize the emulsion, preventing the ZVI particles from agglomerating and settling out of the oil. The resulting emulsified mixture can be injected into the subsurface using standard injection techniques.

Emulsified ZVI has been successfully applied in various remediation projects, including the treatment of chlorinated solvents and other organic contaminants. It offers a cost-effective and efficient solution for addressing subsurface contamination.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of EZVI depends on site-specific conditions, contaminant types, and concentrations. Site characterization and feasibility studies are necessary to determine the optimal application strategy and dosage for achieving the desired remediation goals.

Our team has over a decade of experience in working with emulsified ZVI and can help you customize a solution for your project site. 

Key Advantages of Emulsified ZVI

Improved treatment

The combination of emulsified edible oil and ZVI provides a more complete remedy for chlorinated solvent plumes. Combining biotic and abiotic decomposition methods has been proven especially effective at sites where background biological bacteria is absent or lacking.

Improved distribution

The emulsion provides a uniform distribution of ZVI particles throughout the subsurface, enhancing contact with contaminants. This ensures better coverage and treatment efficacy in heterogeneous aquifer systems.

Increased reactivity

The small droplet size of EZVI allows for a larger surface area and greater contact with contaminants. This leads to enhanced reactivity, accelerating the degradation of a wide range of organic and inorganic contaminants.

Mobility and reach

The emulsion properties of EZVI enable it to flow and disperse more readily within the subsurface, increasing its mobility and reach. This allows for the treatment of larger areas and facilitates the targeting of contamination hotspots.


The emulsification process helps to protect the ZVI particles from passivation and degradation, extending their reactivity and lifespan within the subsurface. This ensures sustained treatment effectiveness over an extended period.

Ease of application

EZVI can be easily injected into the subsurface using standard injection methods, making it compatible with existing remediation infrastructure. The emulsion remains stable during injection and facilitates efficient delivery of the ZVI particles.