Low Cost Modules for Pyrogen-free Water

Period of Performance: 09/01/1990 - 02/28/1991


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lynntech, Inc.
Principal Investigator


Water for pharmaceutical preparation and parenteral therapy must be of high chemical purity, sterile and free from fever-producing bacterial endotoxins. The removal of pyrogens from water by distillation is expensive. Acceptable alternatives to distillation require meticulous maintenance, extensive pretreatment of the water and costly (often redundant) back-up systems to ensure the removal of pyrogens from solution. These high costs have forced many hospitals to abandon in-house water purification in favor of prepackaged solutions. The goal of this research is to establish the technical feasibility of a low-cost electrochemical device for the destruction of pyrogens in water. The device will be based on a solid polymer electrolyte and will generate ozone at the anode and an additional "catalytic" oxidant (H2O2) at the cathode; both products will be generated directly in the water stream. When ozone is used to treat water in combination with a suitable "catalyst," the level of organic material in solution can be reduced to below present detection limits and pyrogens are destroyed by this treatment. Ozone is attractive because it decomposes rapidly in water to form oxygen. Several convenient systems are available for the removal of any excess H2O2 from the water, thus, no harmful oxidant will remain. This method is suitable fore supplying pyrogen-free water in hospitals and pharmaceutical plants at reduced costs compared to presently used methods.