SBIR Phase I: Ion-Exchange Fiber Composites for Rapid and Selective Removal of Perchlorate from Water

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1143255
Agency Tracking Number: 1143255
Amount: $149,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
60 Hazelwood Dr, Champaign, IL, 61820-7460
DUNS: 968076914
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Langer
 (651) 503-3930
Business Contact
 James Langer
Phone: (651) 503-3930
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will result in the development of novel ultrafast, highly selective, high permeability ion-exchange fiber composites for removing perchlorate from drinking water. The proposed technology removes perchlorate 10-100 times faster than the best currently available options, and employs a low-cost production method compatible with widely available manufacturing equipment. Rapid contaminant removal is made possible by the use of micron-scale mass transfer distances; whereas commonly used beads and granular media are limited to much larger sizes because of significant drawbacks including difficult containment and enormous pressure drop, fiber composites display both high permeability and self-containment due to their permanently intertwined, self-supporting structure. Serionix will demonstrate feasibility of this new technology through the following activities: 1) preparation of active resin/substrate fiber composites using a spray-casting method; 2) characterization of perchlorate-removal efficiency in both continuous and intermittent flow configurations; and 3) research and development of pretreatment methods to replace the current processing solvent (acetone) with water and to improve composite wetting properties. The broader/commercial impact of this research is the development and commercialization of a low-cost technology enabling regulatory compliance and improved protection of human health. The EPA is set to regulate perchlorate in drinking water by 2014. This application represents only the first commercial opportunity for a platform technology with the ultimate potential to transform the industrial and residential water treatment landscape. Future applications may include ultrahigh efficiency water deionization, softening, and industrial wastewater recycling, personal protective equipment and clothing, and high activity solid acid/base catalysts. Dissemination of data and interpretation will contribute to improved understanding of mass transfer characteristics in fibrous sorbent materials used in both water and air treatment.

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

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