Block Copolymer Membranes for Total Removal of Ionic and NonionicPFASfrom Industrial Wastewaters Optionally Co-Contaminated by AlcoholsEPA Contract Number: 68HERD19C0013
Title: Block Copolymer Membranes for Total Removal of Ionic and NonionicPFASfrom Industrial Wastewaters Optionally Co-Contaminated by Alcohols
Investigators: Holmberg, Angela
Small Business: Anfiro, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: May 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2019) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water Quality , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Phase 1 (2019)
The EPA aims to reduce the total concentration of PFAS in industrial wastewater to <70 ppt. Most treatmentmethods remove only ionic PFAS, but nonionic PFAS must also be captured to meet this limit as they can degrade to ionic ones downstream.
Anfiro is manufacturing block copolymer membranes with uniformly sized, nanoscale pores. The technology's uniquely-sharp size-based separation mechanism should allow both ionic and nonionic PFAS to be sequestered from wastewater. These membranes also are more chemically inert and resistant to swelling in alcohols than conventional polymer membranes, so they may function in the direct treatment of PFAS-and-alcohol-contaminated wastes from semiconductor manufacturers.
The technology's sustainability footprint and price also are competitive. The manufacturing protocols include low-input, low-waste polymerization methods and conventional, continuous roll-to-roll processing. The permeabilities are approximately threefold higher than reverse-osmosis (RO) membranes, so the technology is more energy-efficient. The envisioned modules are conventionally sized for installation as drop-in-replacements.
These features benefit nearly any application in aqueous separations that is conducted using nanofiltration or RO membranes. This combined market exceeds $4B and is where Anfiro's technology offers broad potential. With confirmed utility for PFAS sequestration, the technology will further Anfiro's mission of promoting a sustainable water future.