SBIR Phase I: Development of Physico-Chemically&Biologically Activated Swelling Organosilica-Metal Composites Filter Media in Bioretention Systems for Enhanced Remediation of Ur
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
770 Spruce Street, Wooster, OH, 44691-9359
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AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop bio-retention soils for the remediation of storm water runoff and common pollutants using engineered glass materials. Storm water runoff is a major component of non-point source pollution. The presence of excessive nutrients, metals, hydrocarbons, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals in surface, ground and drinking water is of particular concern due to their persistence and toxicity. Controlling runoff pollutants will be accomplished using engineered glass (Osorb)-metal composites mixed into bio-retention systems. Osorb physically absorbs a wide variety of volatile organic pollutants from water. Osorb will chemically remediate pollutants with embedded particles of catalytic metals. Breakdown byproducts of pollutants can be biologically mineralized in bio-retention systems or consumed as foods by the biotic community. It is expected that Osorb-metal composites amended soils will have significantly improved removal efficiency of multiple runoff pollutants without compromising hydraulic performance of the systems. The broader/commercial impacts of this research include: Substantial reduction of local toxic runoffs, protection from flooding and property damage by improving plant health and water-retainment of soils, improvement of aquatic and human health, and facilitation of sustainable water reuse. It is estimated by US EPA, runoff pollutants result in a multitude of economic losses in the US annually including; $30 million + annual direct losses for fishing industries, $2 billion + annual losses for beach tourism due to toxic closures and $17 million+ extra treatment costs in drinking water treatment plants. The state and federal governments are mandating local storm water programs to control storm water pollution and the cost of storm water runoff treatment is expected to significantly increase with a stricter regulatory climate. Developing cost-effective and effective storm water best management practice (BMP) would substantially reduce negative effects of runoff pollutants on human and aquatic health. The City of Seattle recently released a 2010 study which estimated the economic impact of uncontrolled storm-water runoffs at $113M. These costs combined the demonstrated losses to wildlife, human access to water resources, added costs of water treatment and 3 documented additional costs in human health care. The City of Cleveland and the local area watersheds have released a preliminary report reaching similar per-capita costs of pollutants in runoff waters.
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