Protection From Terrorist Threat to Water Based Utility Systems

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
200 Town Centre Drive, Suite 2, Rochester, NY, 14623
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Michael Nickelsen
Senior Scientist
(585) 321-4238
Business Contact:
Paul Tornatore, P.E.
Vice President/Senior Con
(585) 321-4220
Research Institution:
The goal of the Phase I project is leverage prior work done at the academic level with chemical agents, simulants and biotoxins to develop an economically and technologically feasible advanced oxidation process for the destruction of chemical andbiological agents and biotoxins that threaten water based utility systems such as a potable water supply. The theoretical basis for the advanced oxidation system presented in this proposal is the electron beam (E-beam) process. The key considerations arethat the E-beam treatment system (1) uniquely creates strong oxidizing and reducing species in water, (2) it can destroy chemical and biological compounds in water to very low concentrations, (3) the reactions are completed in milliseconds allowingcontinuous treatment, (4) it does not generate a residue, sludge, or spent media that require further processing or disposal, (5) it is computer controlled and adjustable to meet a wide range of operating conditions, and (6) it can avoid the formation ofunwanted chemical byproducts.The Phase I project will prove the concept of the electron beam process for destruction of chemical and biological agents in water based utility systems. Included in Phase I will be a theoretical kinetic model to predict threat agent destruction. Smallscale (less than 40 gallons per minute) studies will be completed for selected threat agents using a mobile 20 kW E-beam system. These results will be used to verify the model calculations. Working with the DoD Project Officer (and others interested inthis project), design changes will be developed for field-testing of the electron beam system and where possible advanced sensor concepts in Phase II. The Phase I design concepts will include any pre-filtering requirements or post chlorination for acontinuously treated water supply. The successful completion of this project, with previous results obtained by our group, will continue to provide proof of the feasibility of an innovative process, high-energy electron injection (e-beam treatment), forwater supplies. The studies will also show an increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of the treatment process (better treatment performance at much lower energy consumption) with the advent of a newly developed water delivery system and even greaterimprovement with introduction of a simple chemical catalyst (ozone) in gas form. It is felt that with these improvements the cost of treatment will become even more competitive when compared to existing treatment technologies. It is also anticipated thatthe catalyzed E-beam treatment will be so cost effective that it will easily overcome the incremental capital costs associated with catalyst addition. (i.e., cost of the ozone injection equipment). The studies that will be conducted in a manner to alsoallow us to better understand the process sensitivities and how the technology may be best applied to waters contaminated with chemical and biological threat agents.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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