Cost Effective Seawater Desalination With ICP Element Arrays

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EP-D-13-043
Agency Tracking Number: EP-D-13-043
Amount: $292,350.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2012 Callie Way, Union, KY, 41091
DUNS: 967259792
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tony Frudakis
 (941) 348-7008
Business Contact
 Tony Frudakis
Phone: (941) 348-7008
Research Institution
Lack of fresh water hinders economic development, devastates human health, leads to environmental degradation and foments political instability. We obtain our water from limited and unevenly distributed surface and underground fresh water sources. Over withdrawal from these quasi-renewable sources causes myriad environmental, economic, political and human health problems. In the developing world we see the proliferation of waterborne disease– over 80 countries harboring half of the world’s population are experiencing acute water shortages, with roughly 80% of all disease and 30% of annual mortality in these countries directly related to unsafe drinking water. In the developed world, we are already spending 5% of our dirty grid energy draining, cleaning and transporting water from centralized sources, contributing to atmospheric and water pollution. Rights pertaining to these sources are already spoken for and as populations grow, demand for water rights will increase. With dwindling supplies, we can expect skyrocketing water costs, and dampening of economic development. Geopolitically, our impending water woes take on frightening proportions. DOD experts project that by 2050, over 1/3rd of the globe could be embroiled in wars ultimately rooted in access/control of fresh water resources. There are other sources ofwater, such as the renewable and vast brackish continental reserves (slightly salty), and of course the ocean. However, existing desalination technologies are decades old, rely on brute-force, and are cost-inefficient, requiring massive hydraulic pressures, electrical currents or heat sources derived ultimately from the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels. High operational, capital and infrastructure-related costs tie these energy-greedy technologies to expensive centralized water distribution models, which is at the root of why there technologies are not adopted to solve these problems. An innovative technology for energy-efficient desalination could solve this adoption problem and change our current trajectory – not only by reducing operational costs, but by helping to change the water distribution model. Not tethered to the electrical grid, or existing water distributioninfrastructures, an energy-efficient desalination technology could operate via a distributive model from expansive brackish or seawater sources – essentially enabling clean, cheap and plentiful water for everyone, anywhere.

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

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