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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

MU Center for Agroforestry researcher to help clean up dioxin in Taiwan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Chung-Ho Lin will take his research findings from the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and apply them halfway around the world.

Lin, research assistant professor of forestry with the MU Center for Agroforestry, will join an international team of scientists to develop strategic plans for decontamination of dioxin at An-Shun, Taiwan. He will travel to the country Dec. 13-17.

Lin is an expert in phytoremediation and bioremediation, which use plants, genetically modified microbes and other biological agents to reduce transport of and enhance sequestration and degradation of agrochemicals, veterinary pharmaceuticals and explosives in soil and water.

"My role is to help to further clean up the contaminated sites using phytoremediation and bioremediation techniques developed at our center," Lin said. Most of the dioxin will be removed by thermal desorption, which uses heat to separate contaminants from the soil, followed by incineration.

"The cutting-edge interdisciplinary research carried out by our scientists has been helping solve environmental problems while designing ecologically sustainable integrated production systems for over a decade," said Shibu Jose, director of the Center for Agroforestry. "This is a prime example of the global impact of our research programs."

Dioxin contamination at the Taiwan site resulted from herbicide production in the 1960s. The site has 580,000 tons of contaminated soil with dioxin levels up to 14,100 times the recommended amount. Dioxins are environmental pollutants and known carcinogens.

Lin will join representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the World Bank, along with engineering consultants and chemists. The project is led by the Center for Water Resources Studies at National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

To learn more about Lin's research, see

Michelle Hall
Senior Information Specialist
Center for Agroforestry University of Missouri

Chung-Ho Lin, 573-884-6302

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