A Novel Treatment Method of Drinking WaterEPA Contract Number: 68D01026
Title: A Novel Treatment Method of Drinking Water
Investigators: Milde, Helmut
Small Business: Ion Physics Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Pulsed electric field (PEF) disinfection is becoming well known as a possible means for the control of microorganisms in fluids. Although this technique has been shown to be effective against a wide variety of microorganisms, its widespread application is impeded by the high specific energy input (kWh/L) required. Conversely, the proposed enhanced PEF process promises a significant reduction in the specific energy input while maintaining the attractive features of the conventional PEF process. The Phase I objectives are to: demonstrate an enhanced PEF process; apply this process to three microorganisms (Escherichia coli bacterium, Cryptosporidium parvum cyst, and Coxsackie virus); and perform an investigation of possible generation of disinfection byproducts. The research effort will include the design and construction of an experimental apparatus, a study to optimize parameters, and a series of laboratory experiments. Clancy Environmental Consultants of St. Albans, VT, has agreed to collaborate with the Ion Physics Corporation (IPC) to provide microbiological analysis for C. parvum. Professor Aaron Margolin from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) will consult on and supervise various microbiological tasks, in particular the analysis of the Coxsackie virus. Professor James Malley from the Department of Civil Engineering at the UNH will provide general consulting advice.
Successful development of an enhanced PEF process would substantially improve the cost effectiveness of the process and its application to large throughputs of liquid. This has the potential to make the process more attractive for all of its possible applications; but particularly for water treatment, where low specific cost and large throughputs are particularly important. IPC's business plan includes an initial product having a capacity up to 200,000 gallons per day that would be offered to small communities. The IPC judges this market to be especially attractive, as approximately 85 percent of all waterworks generate less than 200,000 gallons per day, and the upcoming Ground Water Rule will find many of these water supplies out of compliance. Other applications of this new process include food and pharmaceuticals, and possibly also effluent waters. The New Hampshire Industrial Research Center has provided the IPC with a contingent funding commitment that would substantially increase the funds available for the work being performed at the UNH during the Phase I work.