Electrochemical Reduction of Perchlorates in Potable Water

EPA Contract Number: 68D03037
Title: Electrochemical Reduction of Perchlorates in Potable Water
Investigators: Tarnowski, David
Current Investigators: Renock, Devon
Small Business: T/J Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2003 through September 1, 2003
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


There is a need for low-cost, environmentally friendly processes for perchlorate remediation of drinking water supplies. Widespread perchlorate contamination of groundwaters only recently has been discovered. Health risks due to perchlorate ingestion include the disruption of thyroid gland function, which can lead to tumor formation and child development problems. This research project will result in the development of a high-performance electrochemical reduction cell for destroying perchlorate to < 5 ppb in drinking water. The innovation is the use of highly conductive, high surface area ceramics as flow-through electrodes in compact reactors. The slow diffusion of perchlorate to the active electrode surface is considered to be a drawback to using electrochemical reduction. High surface area electrode materials and innovative reactor designs will address this issue by maximizing the surface area of active perchlorate reduction sites in the reactor. T/J Technologies, Inc.’s electrode materials also will minimize competing electrode processes that decrease the energy efficiency for the process. Flow-through electrodes composed of particles with relatively large grain sizes and high surface areas are expected to exhibit the performance of high surface area materials in flow-through reactors without significantly reducing solution throughput. The compact size of the flow-through reactors, innocuous by-products, low maintenance requirement, and low capital costs make this technology attractive to small point-of-origin remediation systems, but large municipal water treatment systems also may benefit.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, perchlorate remediation, drinking water, groundwater, water treatment, thyroid gland, tumor, electrochemical reduction, flow-through reactors, EPA., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Physical Processes, Children's Health, Environmental Policy, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, alternative disinfection methods, health effects, public water systems, environmental health, other - exposure, exposure and effects, human health effects, drinking water filtration plants, perchlorate, developmental effects, exposure, perchlorates, chemical contaminants, children, community water system, tumors, electrochemical reduction, human exposure, children's vulnerablity, children's environmental health, contaminated groundwater, contaminant removal, drinking water contaminants, drinking water treatment, human health, water treatment, thyroid gland, groundwater, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report