Novel Fiber Scaffolding for Effective Removal of Diverse Hazardous Chemicals from Water

Period of Performance: 12/01/2017 - 11/30/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Chemica Technologies, LLC
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The water treatment product developed in this SBIR program will give more people the opportunity to live healthier lives and strengthen communities by increasing available water resources. The contamination of drinking water is an age-old problem. In recent decades, the pollution of ground and drinking water by organic chemicals has attracted increasing attention all over the world as man-made toxins (pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, pesticides, disinfectant by-products, etc.) continue to enter the worlds' drinking water reservoirs via wastewater, agricultural runoff, storm water, air pollution, and polluted soil. Exposure to these toxins through drinking water is leading to chronic, complex diseases; the burden of which falls primarily on socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Removal of organic chemicals from drinking water is imperative to protect the health of the world's populations. Traditional adsorption technologies do not have the structural sophistication to allow for the simultaneous removal of multiple complex chemicals. Other purification technologies (i.e. reverse osmosis membranes and hydroxyl radicals) have failed to provide a simple and cost-effective means to remove the wide spectrum of organic chemicals now found in drinking water supplies. What's missing from the $3B US residential treatment market is a simple and cost effective POU product for the wide spectrum of difficult to remove and highly toxic trace organic chemicals. Through this SBIR project, Chemica aims to bring a timely new tool to the field of water treatment/purification that specifically targets difficult to remove contaminants in an easy-to-use and affordable manner. This will be achieved through applying Chemica's proprietary surface modification techniques to a robust carbon fiber substrate. Chemica's novel fiber is easily scalable and can be tailored to meet users' specific needs. The goal for this SBIR program is to produce a prototype modular cartridge containing a robust adsorbent with 5x faster adsorption rates over existing adsorbents and lower lifecycle costs compared to alternative water purification technologies. This will be achieved through the following Specific Aims: PHASE I Specific Aim 1. Comparison of Functionalized Fiber Modules with Conventional Water Purifiers PHASE II Specific Aim 1. Optimization and Large-Scale Production of Functionalized Fiber Adsorbent PHASE II Specific Aim 2. Design and Manufacture of Prototype Module to House the Fiber Adsorbent PHASE II Specific Aim 3. Performance Characterization of the Fiber Adsorbent and Module in the Real World Key words: drinking water, emerging contaminants, toxicity, adsorbent, carbon, pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, pesticides, disinfectant by-products, coordination chemistry, organic chemistry, VOC, separation