You are here

Development of a near-real-time analytical system for measurement of N-nitrosamines in water reuse.

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC21C0008
Agency Tracking Number: B201A-0008
Amount: $99,954.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 20-OSAPE-1A
Solicitation Number: 68HERC20R0111
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
11483 Tioga Peak Court
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-8806
United States
DUNS: 117070111
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Duncan Griffiths
 Chief Executive Officer
 (714) 747-9955
Business Contact
 Duncan Griffiths
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (714) 747-9955
Research Institution

Trace organic compounds are a major challenge for water reuse. N-nitrosamines and NDMA in particular are of concern because they occur in treated wastewaters at levels closest to those of potential human health concern. These are formed as a disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in treatment processes used in water recycling. NDMA limits and monitoring requirements are included in most permitting requirements for potable reuse plants in the U.S.

This proposed project addresses the need for a fast and reliable analytical method for N-nitrosamines for potable reuse water. The technique is capable of online, fully automated operation and cost will be a fraction of the current commonly used laboratory technique, while having equivalent or better measurement performance and speed.

The basic scientific principles have been proven and published in a series of scientific papers. Proof of concept experiments show excellent sensitivity and specificity but requires trained operators for a laboratory system. This development project includes extending the lower detection limit further into the range needed by current regulations and fully automating several functions that will allow continuous, unattended operation. These include initial sample introduction from the production pipeline, reagent addition forsample preparation, and performance of the daily calibration routine. Project consultant, Dr. Shannon Roback has validated this technology at bench-scale during a two-year trial at the largest potable water reuse plant in the world, Orange County Water District, and also worked with a prototype online unit.

Advanced water treatment facilities are the ideal target for this analytical system, with over 100 new potable reuse plants in planning (where NDMA monitoring is regulated), in addition to 600 existing reuse plants, and another 675 reuse plants in planning. Many of the US’s 52,000 drinking water treatment plants monitor for N-nitrosamines as well. The pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries have more recently identified NDMA contamination as a significant concern.

Compared to traditional analytical methods (dual mass spectrometry, MS/MS), the proposed system has already been shown to have equivalent or better sensitivity, with potential for even lower detection limits to be investigated. Analysis time will be significantly less than MS/MS, will not require highly skilled staff, will use much smaller sample and reagent volumes, and the capital cost of equipment will be approximately $100k compared to roughly $400K.

Besides facilitating safe water treatment to benefit the environment, this technique uses significantly less toxic solvent for sample extraction and minimal other reagents

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government