Novel Lignin-Based Magnetite Nanocomposites for Removal of Phosphate from Contaminated Waters

Award Information
Environmental Protection Agency
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Synanomet, LLC
75 Quercus Circle, Little Rock, AR, 72223-5159
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Alan Toland
(501) 569-8323
Business Contact:
James Hendren
(501) 584-0006
Research Institution:
Phosphorus (P) remediation is an extremely difficult and costly environmental problem and could cost $44.5 billion dollars for treatment using conventional water treatment plants to meet EPA requirements. Phosphorous runoff can lead to“dead zones” due to eutrophication and can also cause hypoxia, leading to death of aquatic life that thrive in an oxygen-rich environment. None commercial product is being marketed for P removal from large water sources to bring down P to ultralow levels to meet EPA requirements in an economical manner. The upper limit for phosphate in stream discharge in typically 1mg/L and further lowering to<0.1 mg/L is required to meet or exceed current EPA standards. Synanomet, LLC has acquired exclusive license for the manufacture and use of patented and patent pending technologies for water purification from the University of Arkansas. The technology utilizes magnetic nanocomposites made from renewable resources and is an environmentally friendly, fase and economical process. In Phase I we demonstrated that high surface area magnetite particles embedded in wood are highly efficient in reducing P to ultra low levels (as much as 0.01 mg/L). The adsorbed P can be recovered from the media and potentially recycled as fertilizers in the form of calcium phosphate of MgNH4PO4. We have also shown that the media can be regenerated at least 10 times for successive P removal. These wood based nanocomposites can also be completely carbonized to yield carbon-magnetite nanocomposites with P removal capability and for more selected applications such as odor suppression and oil recovery following an oil spill. The scale up of these nanocomposites is needed for pilot plant studies. Agreements are in place with Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) affiliated with the University of North Dakota for scale up work in kilogram quantities using fluid bed continuous reactor as well as hot bed rotary kiln. The composites will be evaluated by Parkson Corporation and AbTech Industries for P removal and media regeneration. Norit, Inc., has agreed to evaluate the materials for odor suppression. Field studies of the use of these nanocomposites will allow Synanomet to leverage its position in the P removal sector. Commercial applications of the composites will include not only P removal but also the potential removal of heavy metals such as Chromium, Arsenic and Selenium. Removal of odor from biogas and separaton of oil and toxic organic compounds from contaminated waters is envisioned.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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