Entity

Time filter

Source Type

Fort Collins, CO, United States

Patent
Symbios Technologies Llc | Date: 2011-05-13

An apparatus and method for simultaneously removing materials from fluids without the need for added chemicals, and without the formation of toxic byproducts, by high-density plasma reaction chemistry is described. Applications to removal of contaminants, such as pesticides, organics, PPCPs, and pathogens, as examples, from water are discussed. Changes in the quality of the raw water are not expected to adversely affect the decontamination process.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project from Symbios Technologies LLC advances a
novel plasma reactor method to oxidize organic matter in untreated water. This method has further potential to
destroy harmful substances such as pesticides, pathogens, and some inorganics. A provisional patent covering this
technology has been filed with the U.S. Patent office. In earlier research, a proof-of-concept batch apparatus
demonstrated that this reactor could destroy selected organic compounds and pathogens. However, this early
version could not be economically scaled up nor run in a continuous mode. This Phase I project will build a new
apparatus design at a laboratory scale, capable of treating water continuously. Studies will then be conducted to
verify the effectiveness of the new reactor design, and to investigate the mechanisms and kinetics of the
degradation of a selected organic compound.
The broader/commercial impacts of this research are: an economical and effective method to treat raw
water, input water, industrial wastewater, and contaminated potable water; and potential portability to desired
locations. There are several ongoing incidences of waterborne diseases in many parts of the world and economical
options for on-site treatment are limited. Our analytical projections indicate that it would be feasible to treat large
quantities of untreated water economically on a commercial scale using a portable system. Furthermore, this
apparatus would be compatible with renewable energy sources and with extended applications to remote sites, such
as military bases and disaster relief operations.


Johnson D.C.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Bzdek J.P.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Fahrenbruck C.R.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Chandler J.C.,Colorado State University | And 3 more authors.
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2015

The growing need for scalable systems that can inactivate microbiological contaminants and recycle water in industrial operations has led to the development of a variety of new advanced oxidation process (AOP) technologies. In this paper, we report on the capability and techno-economics of a new AOP method to generate aqueous plasma species for inhibition of microbiological contaminants. The test microorganisms in this work were Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (a motile, Gram-negative bacterium that oxidizes sulfides to sulfates and ferrous iron to ferric iron, used as a model biofouling organism) and Legionella gratiana (a Gram-negative bacteria used as a surrogate of the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila, which can be a dangerous contaminant in cooling water systems). The cultured bacteria were dispersed in water and treated within a non-thermal plasma treatment system for varied exposure times, and then the bactericidal effects were measured. The results demonstrated plasma inhibition of A. ferrooxidans, with an approximate 6 log decrease in viability (assayed as most probable number) with 40 s of aqueous plasma treatment in the plasma treatment system. Likewise, L. gratiana viability was decreased, with an approximate 6 log decrease in viability with 20 s of aqueous plasma treatment (assayed as colony-forming units). Modeling the techno-economic aspects of these disinfection reactions in the treatment system indicated the potential for the technology to be competitive with existing AOP and aqueous chemical-based disinfection methods. © 2015 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved. Source


Johnson D.C.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Bzdek J.P.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Fahrenbruck C.R.,Symbios Technologies Llc | Chandler J.C.,Colorado State University | And 5 more authors.
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2016

The growing need for scalable systems that can inactivate microbiological contaminants and recycle water in industrial operations has led to the development of a variety of new advanced oxidation process (AOP) technologies. In this paper, we report on the capability and techno-economics of a new AOP method to generate aqueous plasma species for inhibition of microbiological contaminants. The test microorganisms in this work were Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (a motile, Gram-negative bacterium that oxidizes sulfides to sulfates and ferrous iron to ferric iron, used as a model biofouling organism) and Legionella gratiana (a Gram-negative bacteria used as a surrogate of the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila, which can be a dangerous contaminant in cooling water systems). The cultured bacteria were dispersed in water and treated within a non-thermal plasma treatment system for varied exposure times, and then the bactericidal effects were measured. The results demonstrated plasma inhibition of A. ferrooxidans, with an approximate 6 log decrease in viability (assayed as most probable number) with 40 s of aqueous plasma treatment in the plasma treatment system. Likewise, L. gratiana viability was decreased, with an approximate 6 log decrease in viability with 20 s of aqueous plasma treatment (assayed as colony-forming units). Modeling the techno-economic aspects of these disinfection reactions in the treatment system indicated the potential for the technology to be competitive with existing AOP and aqueous chemical-based disinfection methods. © 2015 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved. Source


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II | Award Amount: 635.44K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will support the final development and commercialization of Symbios Technologies plasma treatment system to allow produced water in the oil and gas industry to be effectively treated, thereby allowing its safe discharge to surface waters or recycling to stimulate production in new wells, rather than being disposed of in injection wells. Produced water is the water brought to the surface, with or without hydraulic fracturing, along with the intended fuel products during extraction of oil, gas, and coal bed methane from formations underground. In general, produced water is contaminated with hydrocarbons, salts, and harmful microorganisms, meaning that it must be treated before it can be discharged or reused for agriculture and other purposes. This is an important environmental, public safety, and economic problem in the US. Research conducted during this project will be used to evaluate reactor improvements including process sensors and control systems, electrode geometries and surface coatings, degradation of contaminants in produced water, field testing, and techno-economic modeling. The anticipated technical results are that the Symbios plasma system will degrade hydrocarbon contaminants and kill microorganisms in frac flowback or produced water, leaving the waters suitable for safe reuse or discharge.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it will facilitate cleanup and reuse of a critical resource, water, in the oil and gas production industry, with crucial societal benefits for protecting the environment, guarding human safety, and keeping domestic energy costs down. The proposed technology is based on an innovative, low-voltage plasma discharge that creates powerful oxidizing species for destroying biological and chemical contaminants in produced water. Symbios Technologies has developed relationships and executed agreements with key companies in the produced water treatment field, which have identified numerous near-term business opportunities and provided crucial insights into preparing the technology for commercial success during Phase II. The customer-centered emphasis on solving water contamination problems in the oil and gas industry, which was estimated to have a global market size of $45 billion in 2010, will result in a high likelihood for commercial success. The Phase II R&D plan will enhance scientific and technical understanding as well as commercial impact by addressing reactor improvements pertaining to corrosion resistance and automated operation for a market-ready system, treatment of microbial and organic contaminants in produced water, on- site testing, and demonstration of economic competitiveness of the developed system.

Discover hidden collaborations