Low-Cost Activated Carbon for Permeable Contaminant Barriers

EPA Contract Number: 68D98137
Title: Low-Cost Activated Carbon for Permeable Contaminant Barriers
Investigators: Kelly, John T.
Small Business: Altex Technologies Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through March 1, 1999
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Waste , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


It is estimated that the U.S. government will have to remediate the soil and groundwater at over 3,700 contaminated sites. Many sites develop underground plumes of VOCs, PCBs, and heavy metals. Contaminated plume migration through the vadose zone ultimately pollutes groundwater resources, and in some locations, has already damaged off-site environments. The most effective, and efficient, control of groundwater contamination is at the source. Permeable barriers are a proven effective technology for groundwater protection at contaminated sites; however, the high cost of adsorbants in these barriers limits their practicality. For general applications, a new less costly adsorbent is needed to realize the full potential of permeable barrier technology.

Altex has identified an innovative technology for the production of Low-Cost Activated Carbon (LCAC), suitable for use in permeable barriers. The estimated cost to produce this new adsorbent is 65% less than the cost for similar commercial-grade products. Derived from negative cost municipal biosolids, LCAC is capable of adsorbing a broad range of organic pollutants. Depending on application requirements, LCAC is producible in either powdered, granular, or pelletized forms. For increased system economy, both granular and pelletized LCAC forms are regenerable. By any measure, LCAC performance is comparable to the performance of conventional activated carbon products.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, remediation, engineering, chemistry, EPA., Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, National Recommended Water Quality, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Groundwater remediation, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, Market mechanisms, fate and transport, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), soil sediment, adsorbents, soil and groundwater remediation, VOCs, contaminated sediment, groundwater plumes, chemical contaminants, soils, contaminated soil, Polychlorinated Biphenyls PCBs:, PCB, granular activated carbon, activated carbon, soil and groudwater remediation, groundwater contamination, control technologies, cost effective, heavy metal contamination, vadose zone, groundwater

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report