SBIR Phase I: Developing a Multi-Functional Nanoparticle-Enhanced Filter Media for Decentralized Water Purification Systems

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Hydroqual Inc
1200 MacArthur Boulevard, Mahwah, NJ, 07430
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Chengyue Shen
(201) 529-5151
Business Contact:
Chengyue Shen
(201) 529-5151
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate a new enhanced filter media for decentralized water purification systems. Whereas implementation of ultraviolet (UV), membrane, or ozonation systems at water treatment facilities is capital-intensive and potentially infeasible for smaller plants, decentralized systems, such as point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) devices, are treatment options that are relatively inexpensive and provide additional protection for consumers. Recent studies have shown that nanoparticles of the reactive element zero-valent iron (ZVI) can adsorb and inactivate viruses and other microbial pathogens in water. In this project, we will develop a process to create high-surface area coatings of nano-ZVI onto granular media to enable a superior POU filtration product. By incorporating this new material, we can significantly improve the ability of POU/POE devices to remove viruses, other microorganisms, and other contaminants (e.g. arsenic, lead, and disinfection byproducts) from drinking water. In Phase I, we will develop a process to coat nano-ZVI onto filtration media, characterize the media, and test the resulting filter with respect to key organic and inorganic contaminants. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be a new filter technology which will perform as well as, or better than, existing technologies (e.g., ultraviolet, reverse osmosis, and nanofiltration), but which is cheaper to manufacture. In 2005, the US market for household water treatment products was $2.6 billion, with the European market forecasted to reach $1 billion by the year 2014. Once successfully demonstrated, the proposed innovation will offer consumers with considerable benefits including reduced health risks and greater water supply security for homeowners and military personnel stationed in remote locations, enhanced portable water treatment capabilities for campers and field workers, and potential new job opportunities in the water treatment technology manufacturing industry. One of the major advantages of the proposed innovation is that it builds upon existing POU/POE technologies. It would, therefore, be familiar to customers and could be marketed as an ?improved? product.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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