Method To Remediate Residential Lead-Based Paint HazardsEPA Contract Number: 68D03021
Title: Method To Remediate Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazards
Investigators: Barca, Brian J.
Small Business: EMEC Consultants
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: April 1, 2003 through September 1, 2003
Project Amount: $69,970
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2003) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
This research project aims to modify an environmentally and occupationally favorable novel method to remove lead-based paint from steel for use on nonconductive substrates such as wood, cement, brick, and cinder block. If successful, a convenient, dust-free method will be available for safe indoor and outdoor site remediation involving lead hazards and waste. Minimal occupational hazards and recyclability of waste also are potential benefits.
EMEC Consultants invented and developed an electrochemically (or electrically) assisted paint removal method (the "ElectroStrip™ Process") for the safe removal of lead-based paint from steel structures. In this method, a direct current is passed from an auxiliary electrode to the painted steel, which acts as the cathode; the electrode (normally steel) is combined with a liquid-absorbent pad material containing a benign electrolyte such as an aqueous sodium sulfate solution. After typically 1 to 1.5 hours, the paint debonds and can be washed off. This method can be practiced without producing any dust, using no harmful chemicals, requiring no containment, and with minimal measures to protect workers from occupational hazards.
A recently discovered modification of the process promises applicability to nonconductive substrates such as wood, brick, cinder block, cement, etc. EMEC Consultants will study, test, and develop this modification and explore its potentials and limitations. Tests with various materials and coatings will be conducted in the laboratory during Phase I. Phase II will be devoted to testing and method development in the field. Recycling of waste also will be explored and established.
In terms of the commercialization, this technology will be made available to contractors engaging in remediation of pre-1978 buildings. It is expected that interest in the technology will extend beyond this application, because it offers dust-free paint removal.