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Chelmsford, MA, United States

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 70.00K | Year: 2006

The opportunity of this proposal is to develop a new ¿Sparker¿ process for treating organic hazardous contaminants in water and liquid waste, including persistent and bioaccumulative and toxic chemical (PBT¿s), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH¿s). Sparker technology also has potential for in-situ treatment of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL¿s) and sludge. Sparkers are pulsed electrical discharges between electrodes in water the generate UV light, OH radicals, a strong pressure gradient and a sonicating bubble, that offer a possible multi-mode process for treating water. The multi-mode process may provide effective for treating dark water and sludge. Sparkers, as a potential replacement for UV lamps, are free of mercury, robust and potentially lower in cost. Because sparkers are immersed directly in the water, they have no fragile envelope that needs to be cleaned. This Phase I will use an innovative, patented sparker with intense UV emission, which has been used to treat water contaminated with the herbicide atrazine (ATZ) and industrial contaminated n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The sparker reduced contaminants with higher destruction rates and consumed less electricity than UV lamps. This preliminary demonstration is the basis of the proposed research aimed at developing a commercial sparker process for use in hazardous waste management. The overall objective of this Phase I is to demonstrate the feasibility of treating a range of PBT¿s and PAH¿s through the treatment of a benzo(a)pyrene, from the EPA¿s PBT list and fluorine, a PAH on the EPA Priority Pollutants List. Phase I also will test for the generation of breakdown byproducts, evaluate sparker operation in dark water and sludge, and address potential for in-situ water treatment. A successful Phase I will lead to a Phase II to conduct further research and develop the sparker process into a prototype for subsequent commercialization. Internationally known water treatment research and the largest UV water treatment company in North America re collaborators on this project.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.17K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is the first line treatment for the majority of patients with kidney stones. The gold standard in SWL is still considered to be the Dornier HM3, which was the first lithotripter introduced into the US. The HM3 is an electrohydraulic lithotripter (EHL) that uses a single underwater sparker as a shock wave source. The HM3 has the drawback that the electrodes erode quickly and must be replaced in the middle of a procedure, and causes significant side effects. This project is to demonstrate that an array of several sparkers in small ellipsoidal reflectors can break stones without having to stop a procedure. The relatively low electrical current in each sparker in the array reduces the erosion, which may allow the sparker array to operate for multiple treatments. The flexibility in placement of the sparkers allows space for an in-line ultrasound probe to monitor stone location during treatment, which will result in fewer pressure pulses missing the stone and reduce damage to surrounding tissue. The specific project objectives are to develop a sparker array and demonstrate its efficacy by breaking artificial stones without having to replace electrodes. A successful Phase I will lead to a Phase II to develop a prototype and demonstrate the potential for improved clinical outcomes. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This research can lead to improved treatment of kidney stones. A successful new lithotripter will have both a higher percentage of successes (reducing the number of repeat procedures) and less side effects to the patient.

Schaefer R.,Phoenix Science And Technology, Inc. | Claudi R.,RNT Consulting | Grapperhaus M.,Phoenix Science And Technology, Inc.
Journal / American Water Works Association

Field tests of a sparker system demonstrated control of zebra mussels in an intake pipe. The sparker was implemented in a wet well near the exit of an intake pipe at a Georgia-Pacific plant on Lake Champlain, N.Y. and was tested during the summer of 2003. The pressure was measured at several locations along the pipe, and zebra mussel samples were placed at those locations. Test results indicated that sparker pressure pulses can eradicate existing adult zebra mussels and prevent the settlement of larval stages. Sparker pressure pulses with peak pressures of at least 0.04 MPa and pressure energies per unit area of 0.16 J/m2 per pulse appeared to prevent the settlement of veligers. Peak pressures of 0.23 MPa and pressure energies per unit area of 5.8 J/m 2 per pulse caused mortality of adult mussels. Source

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.73K | Year: 2006

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is the treatment of choice for kidney stones. Originally the standard lithotripter generated the shock with a sparker electrode, but their use has declined because the shocks are inconsistent, cause painful side effects and the electrode must be replaced during the procedure. New types of lithotripters are more consistent and last longer, but the clinical outcomes are not as good and side effects are greater. The goal of this research is to demonstrate the feasibility of a new type of spark electrode that produces consistent shocks, can reduce side effects and last for many procedures. The long-term goal is to develop a new commercial SWL, with reduced side effects and much longer life. The work will employ an innovative methodology and design algorithm for sparker electrodes used in Navy applications. The algorithm, developed for high energy shocks, will be scaled down for SWL. Experimental measurements using electrodes developed with this new methodology will be compared to an existing lithotripter to demonstrate improvements. A successful program will lead to a new commercial system for SWL that resolves the issues with current systems, resulting in improved clinical outcomes at lower cost. Public health may also benefit from use in additional medical applications, including healing bones, treatment of tendonitis and tumor therapy.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2006

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is to conduct research on the erosion properties of electrode materials under high-current pulsed operation. This research will allow extended lifetime for a new pulsed lamp, making it economically practical. The new lamp can become the industry standard for Ultra-Violet (UV) water treatment and enable a new photolytic paint stripping process. Materials used for pulsed power electrodes were formulated for continuous or alternating current at low peak current. Under pulsed high current, preliminary research shows that these materials degrade through grain growth, leading to void formation at the grain boundary. The research objective is to develop a better understanding of how material properties affect grain growth and erosion, and show the feasibility of enhancing and developing low erosion electrode materials. The proposed research will enhance scientific understanding of the degradation and erosion of electrode materials that undergo repeated high-current pulsed cycling. Also, new electrode materials will enable the expanded use of pulsed power and provide an alternative to thoriated tungsten, which is banned in Europe because of its radioactivity. The primary goal is to enable a new commercial pulsed lamp with many applications. The lamp is a potential replacement for mercury lamps, which would eliminate mercury use and exposure of the public. The lamp also will enable commercial photolytic paint removal, replacing chemical and abrasive techniques that are labor intensive, create dust and debris, and generate toxic byproducts.

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