Regenerable Biocidal Nanocomposite Through a Green Process

EPA Contract Number: EPD07033
Title: Regenerable Biocidal Nanocomposite Through a Green Process
Investigators: Wan, Jiang
Small Business: Leak Indicator Paint Systems, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2007 through August 31, 2007
Project Amount: $69,665
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Nanotechnology , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Biocidal polymers have begun to find applications in areas where traditional small biocidal molecules are unable to compete. For example, a biocidal polymer based on halamine chemistry has recently been introduced to disinfect water supply on aircrafts. Several major medical supply companies started marketing beddings, linens, and wipes treated with biocidal polymers to hospitals and nursing homes.

However, the production of halamine polymer often requires hazardous materials and complex reaction conditions to carry out, and therefore is expensive to produce. As a result, the pace to develop new applications and penetrate into markets where small biocidal molecules dominate has been slow.

Leak Indicator Paint Systems, Inc. recognized the need for a low-cost biocidal polymer in the marketplace and has risen to the challenge to develop a new class of biocidal nanocomposite through a green chemistry process. The production is carried out in a two-step process in water at ambient conditions using starting materials that are commercially available in large quantities. The nanocomposite is capable of inactivating fecal coliform and Escherichia coli in wastewater samples collected from a wastewater treatment plant, achieving 99.999 percent reduction in less than 20 minutes of contact time. The biocidal nanocomposite is stable even after 6 months of storage. In addition, by adopting methods commonly practiced in the textile industry, a process has been worked out to permanently fix the nanocomposite to a cellulose-based substrate such as cotton textile. Envisioned applications range from biocidal filters to cotton-based wipes for disinfection of water and homeland security applications such as decontamination of biologically contaminated equipment.

In this Phase I project, we will further expand preliminary work on the development of this new class of biocidal nanocomposite. The objectives include characterization using additional analytical tools, evaluating antimicrobial efficacy of treated cotton fabric against both gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms, and optimizing the production process. Process parameters obtained will be used to perform cost analysis of producing value-added products in a Phase II project with the goal of eventual commercialization.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, biocidal polymer, biocidal nanocomposite, nanocomposite, green chemistry,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Monitoring, Chemicals Management, pollution prevention, environmental technology, homeland security, nanoparticle remediation, cleaner production, nanocomposite, biocidal disinfection, bioterrorism, nanotechnology, alternative materials, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, disinfection

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final