Chemistry & Nanotechnology Remediation of polluted water...
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Project Number: 1372

Principal Investigator:  Prof. Brian Berkowitz

Department : Environmental Science and Energy Resources

Use of catalysts to decontaminate pollutants in water. Fresh water is one of the basic - and limited - natural resources necessary to maintain life and develop agriculture and industry. However, the combination of ever-growing contamination from various sources (industry, agriculture and domestic uses), the toxicity of contaminating compounds, and their extreme persistence in the environment, define a complex challenge and serious threat. For example, less than 5% of the agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides, herbicides, etc.) are estimated to reach the target organism, with the remainder being deposited on the soil and non-target organisms, as well as moving into the atmosphere and water. Feasible technological responses to deal with growing deterioration in water resource quality are difficult to develop, largely because of the wide variety of contaminants having different properties, the stringent environmental standards that must be met, and the inherent heterogeneity of natural aquatic systems. Thus, new and effective treatment and remediation technologies must be developed to meet increasingly stringent water quality standards and to reduce associated environmental risks of water pollutants. The present technology describes a new method to prevent or reduce water contamination by agrochemicals and other pollutants, by transforming them either chemically or electrochemically.

  • In situ and ex situ groundwater and surface water remediation
  • Detoxification of agrochemical contaminants and industrial effluents
  • Waste water decontamination
  • Cost-effective
  • Use of environmentally-friendly materials
  • Can target a wide spectrum of contaminants
  • Suitable for both point source and diffuse area pollution
Technology's Essence

The outlined technology uses a catalyst or combination of catalysts for fast and complete treatment of contaminants. This catalyst material effectively degrades/transforms water contaminants (organic and metals), under reducing conditions. By reducing the oxidation state of the pollutants environmentally innocuous compounds are produced, while reduction of heavy metals renders them insoluble and immobile, and therefore much less harmful.

Patent Status
Granted US 8366940; 8598062; 8580711
Patent ID
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Chemistry & Nanotechnology
Clean Technology

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Production / Manufacturing
Chemometrics / Analytical Chemistry
Instrument / Device

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Prof. Brian Berkowitz
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