Air Force Designer Soap for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Period of Performance: 07/25/2012 - 04/24/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Industrial cleaning operations produce waste streams that must be treated to remove toxic industrial contaminants such as dissolved heavy metals. Standard commercial cleaners are effective but contain chelating agents to help mitigate hard water scaling. These chelating agents are incompatible with industrial wastewater treatment processes because they the prevent recovery of dissolved heavy metals, demanding additional processing before the water can be discharged. The Air Force requires a cleaning product for industrial work surfaces that is compatible with the industrial wastewater treatment process. TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) and our partners, with DoD support, have developed a surfactant blend for the routine cleaning and decontamination of military aircraft. Extensive tests have documented the product s ability to clean surfaces loaded with grease and particulate soils. The surfactant blend has shown excellent materials compatibility and corrosion prevention performance. It has a long shelf life, heat and cold stability and is biodegradable. The product contains no chelating agents and preliminary testing has shown good compatibility with industrial wastewater treatment processes designed to remove dissolved heavy metals. During this Phase I effort, TDA Research proposes to test this surfactant blend in laboratory scale industrial wastewater treatment processes to assess its applicability as an effective industrial surface cleaning compound that is compatible with the wastewater treatment processes. If modifications to the formula are required, TDA and our team, as the original developers, have the expertise to reformulate for optimum performance. BENEFIT: Ongoing work on TDA s surfactant blend is directed towards a dual purpose product, as a routine aircraft cleaning compound and a chemical and biological warfare decontaminant. A likely outcome of this project would be demonstration that the current formulation is equally effective for industrial cleaning processes, thus providing a single soap that can meet multiple DoD needs. Even if modifications are required it would result in a closely related family of soaps that could be used interchangeably if necessary but which were each optimized for different uses. Benefits to the government include simplified ordering, reduced stocking costs, simplified logistical demands, reduced overall government inventory and reducing costs of the cleaning compound through efficiencies of scale.