Electrochemical removal of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) using modular water reuse system

EPA Contract Number: 68HERC21C0034
Title: Electrochemical removal of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) using modular water reuse system
Investigators: Huong Le, Thi Xuan
Small Business: Faraday Technology, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2021) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water , SBIR - Clean and Safe Water


Facing water shortages, water reuse offers an opportunity to significantly expand supplies of freshwater in communities. Water reuse demands technologies that can efficiently remove emerging contaminants from effluent discharge. Pharmaceuticals are recognized as emerging contaminants due to their bioactivity, wide usage, potential health and ecological risks. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of efficient degradation of pharmaceutical compound, paracetamol, through the use a modular electrochemical reactor and electrochemical advanced oxidation process. The proposed technology has the potential to be considerably more environmentally friendly, energy efficiency, and cost efficiency via increasing the destruction rate of pollutants and reducing the energy processing consumption in comparison with conventional electrochemical treatments. Effluent after treatment will be “fresh” water without any salts, chemicals or harmful chemicals. The reactor will be designed with modular scale which can be flexibly applied in small and/or large treatment system via replication of a comparatively simple repeating unit, and can be installed in a variety of configurations and locations not suitable for other technological approaches.

With the ubiquity of potential release sources of pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical companies, disposal of unused/expired pharmaceutical products, drugs, and vaccines from hospitals and households and others, the scope of the need for highly active pharmaceuticals remediation technologies is very huge. Thus, the potential market for sales of the proposed wastewater treatment system is substantial. The proposed technology is anticipated to be integrated and/or transitioned into wastewater treatment plants of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, hospital and municipal wastewater plants.