STTR Phase II: Ultraviolet Activated Chelation (UVAC) for the Recovery of Hg from Industrial Wastewater

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$499K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Sol-gel Solutions, LLC
4110 SW 34th Street, Suite 22
Gainesville, FL 32608
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Florida
339 Weil Hall
Gainsville, FL 32611
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II aims to further develop and optimize an advanced oxidation technology called Ultraviolet Activated Chelation (UVAC), which utilizes low-energy ultraviolet (UV) light for the removal of mercury (Hg) from industrial wastewaters. The Phase I project achieved Hg concentrations as low as 11 ppt (which is lower than the Hg levels commonly found in rainwater) via this process. The technology has been proven in the bench- and pilot-scales, but further work is required to consistently achieve Hg concentrations below 12 ppt and to obtain the most economical commercial design. The Phase II objectives will include the optimization of design parameters such as filtration, pH, residence time, and UV light characteristics. The effect of various water chemical characteristics on Hg removal will also be studied. It is anticipated that Phase II efforts will result in a robust and economical commercial system employing the UVAC technology for industries to comply with current and pending environmental regulations. The broader impact/commercial potential from this technology will be a process for Hg removal from water to trace levels, this technology is contributing to the protection of human health, wildlife, and the environment. Exposure to Hg, which can occur by consumption of contaminated fish, can affect cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills. Additionally some researchers have proposed a link between Hg and autism. A commercially viable solution for Hg