SBIR Phase I: Nanostructured Sorbent for Hg Removal from Scrubber Water to Below 10 ppt

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project focuses on the evaluation and optimization of a promising sorbent, Silica-Titania Composites (STC), for mercury removal from coal-fired power plant scrubber water to below 10 ppt. Coal-fired power plants are a predominant mercury emitter in gases and liquids. There are no commercial technologies for mercury removal from scrubber water to levels anticipated under future regulations (i.e., 1 to 10 ppt). Sol-gel Solutions, LLC (Sol-gel) has obtained mercury concentrations below 1.3 ppt when evaluating the STC for mercury removal from a mixed wastewater from a coal-fired power plant. These levels would comply with the Great Lakes Initiative, a strict criterion that will be enforced in parts of the U.S. in 2010. The objective for the proposed project is to optimize the technology for mercury removal from scrubber water from several coal-fired power plants, with the ultimate goal of designing a commercial system. It is expected that the STC will effectively remove mercury to below 10 ppt, with the potential of being recovered and reused. The broader impacts of this research are the protection of humans and wildlife from exposure to mercury. In humans, this exposure may impair neurological development, particularly in fetuses and during early childhood. A key element of the proposed work will be the promotion of interest in science and engineering via dissemination of the learnings from the proposed work and related fundamental science to high school and community college students, among others, via a targeted "webinar" and newsletter.