Efficient Water Purification Using TIO2 and Novel Activation Method

EPA Contract Number: EPD13032
Title: Efficient Water Purification Using TIO2 and Novel Activation Method
Investigators: Miermont, Adeline
Small Business: Imaging Systems Technology, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: May 15, 2013 through November 14, 2013
Project Amount: $80,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water


Under this SBIR, Imaging Systems Technology (IST) will investigate coating UV Plasma-shells with titanium (IV) dioxide (TiO2) to produce a low-cost, rugged, lightweight, and highly efficient and versatile water purification system. Plasma-shells are tiny hollow gas encapsulating devices ranging in size from 400 microns to 4.00 millimeters. IST has demonstrated prototype Plasma-shells devices that produce UV A, B and C. UVA-activated TiO2 is a powerful catalyst that can be used in the breakdown of chemicals and the destruction of pathogens in contaminated water. It has been shown to be more effective than UV alone.
If successful, this research will result in the replacement of fragile, bulky UV quartz tubes in standard water purification systems with a rugged pack of lightweight Plasma-shells. In the proposed configuration, the UV-producing surface area will be increased by several orders of magnitude, making the TiO2-Plasma-shell system potentially much more powerful than current purification systems. Adding to the efficiency is the fact that the water will be in close proximity to the TiO2 Plasma-shells, thus providing improved contact between the activated surface and the contaminants. This innovation has broad impact because potable water is one of the most basic of human requirements. Clean water directly affects our health and the welfare of every living creature on the planet.
The proposed innovation has significant commercial potential. Due to its light weight, ruggedness and low cost it may be configured to serve numerous applications, including:
·       Large civil or industrial systems that handle large quantities of water
·       Small, portable point of use systems for disaster, humanitarian or military applications
·       Industrial wastewater purification, including contaminates produced during oil and gas recovery
IST has garnered interest from a number of organizations representing each of these applications. Battelle and Nortech are interested in developing the technology for civic and humanitarian applications. ACT 1 and CTC are interested in the technology for military and homeland security. Trojan is interested in the technology for a number of applications. Shell is interested in the technology for industrial applications related to oil recovery. Beyond water purification, the proposed technology is an enabling technology that has applications in the purification of air, food, and medical instrumentation and photo-curing.

Supplemental Keywords:

catalyst, water purification, UV Plasma shells

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Efficient Water Purification using TiO2 and Novel Activation Method