ENCINITAS, Calif., June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In another milestone development, CycloPure, Inc. announced that its micropollutant polymer, CD-MP, outperformed activated carbon in the removal of micropollutants from water in a new head-to-head study. The superior performance of the company's polymer formulation was reported on May 30th in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Science & Technology.1
The CD-MP polymer was the first of the company's enhanced adsorption materials designed with its proprietary cyclodextrin technology. The breakthrough technology, enabling the design of high-affinity cyclodextrin polymers, was first reported in Nature in January 2016.2 In that study, the CD-MP polymer bested several conventional adsorbents in the removal of eight micropollutants, including bisphenol A (BPA), the pesticide metolachlor, and the estrogen steroid ethinyl estradiol.
The current study was led by technology co-inventor and CycloPure water expert Dr. Damian Helbling of Cornell University and co-inventor and CycloPure co-founder Dr. Will Dichtel of Northwestern University. Under environmentally relevant scenarios, the performance of the company's CD-MP polymer was evaluated against coconut shell activated carbon (CCAC) for the removal of 83 pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals from water.
With contaminant concentrations of one microgram per liter (1 ppb), the CD-MP polymer surpassed activated carbon in each category of measure in both batch and flow-through tests. In testing uptake rates, the CD-MP polymer exhibited faster uptake speeds for 70 of the 83 contaminants, with 46 of those exceeding corresponding rates for CCAC by more than ten times.
"It is exciting to see the rapid uptake of such a large and diverse group of chemical compounds on the CD-MP polymer," commented Helbling. "Adsorption kinetics are important parameters for process design, and faster adsorption kinetics can translate to less material or higher flowrates when developing treatment processes."
Importantly, the superior uptake rates translated into superior removal of micropollutants as well. In evaluating contaminant removal of 80% or greater, CD-MP significantly outperformed CCAC in batch and flow-through tests. When used in flow-through with simulated surface water, the CD-MP polymer removed 44 of the 83 pollutants tested to greater than 80%, compared to just 13 for CCAC. When additional polymer material was used to match the surface areas of the adsorbents, the number of contaminants removed rose to 66 of the 83 contaminants.
"As with the Nature study, we again saw rapid adsorption of contaminants in a near instantaneous manner," noted Dichtel. "These results are an important step in the commercialization of this vital material. We have now shown removal effectiveness against a diverse group of micropollutants, comprised of industrial chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceutical compounds. I am pleased to see the breadth and performance of the polymer validated to this extent."
The implications for water treatment are great, and offer the potential of important health benefits. Micropollutants are pervasive in water resources, presenting health risks even at trace concentrations. Certain contaminants are known endocrine disruptors, and others have been associated with certain cancers. The study included a number of known and putative endocrine disruptors, against which the CD-MP polymer demonstrated effective removal. The CD-MP polymer has also shown effectiveness in the removal of the highly toxic pesticides Atrazine and Chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos was not included in the present study, but was evaluated separately in response to highly publicized concerns over this insecticide.
One of the well-documented deficiencies of activated carbon is its rapid fouling by natural organic matter and other benign chemical constituents present in water resources. The data presented in the Environmental Science & Technology study highlight this deficiency – micropollutant removal by activated carbon was significantly inhibited by the presence of natural organic matter in the experiments. This deficiency greatly limits the performance of activated carbons and leads to the need for frequent recovery and regeneration of spent material, a process that carries significant financial and energetic costs.
In contrast, the data presented in the Environmental Science & Technology study demonstrate that the performance of CD-MP is not influenced by the presence of natural organic matter. The binding sites of the CD-MP are contained within small interior cavities. These data show that small organic molecules, such as micropollutants, can access these interior cavities while larger organic molecules, such as natural organic matter, have limited access due to their size. This feature allows the CD-MP to target micropollutants in water without interference from other chemicals that are of less concern, which can significantly extend the life of the adsorbent relative to activated carbon.
"Testing at real world concentrations of one part per billion was important to highlight the performance advantages of our polymer," said Dichtel. "Showing resistance to fouling by natural organic material is a big deal. It is an important differentiator that gives our polymer a significant edge in the removal of micropollutants. There is a lot of versatility in the application of this material. We envision its use as an alternative or complementary absorbent in existing water treatment processes."
As previously reported, the preparation of CD-MP occurs in a single-step using commercially available monomers (crosslinkers) and low-cost cyclodextrin. Additional cost and energy savings over the life-cycle of the material may also be achieved through the development of on-site regeneration strategies.
"This study is very good news," said CycloPure CEO Frank Cassou. "Uniquely effective, sustainably made, and renewable, it is now time to get this product to market. We are full speed ahead to scale-up reaction procedures to handle commercial volumes and requirements. We want to shift the paradigm for water treatment. Currently, consumers are the filter against micropollutants. We want to change that."
About the Company:
Using proprietary technologies, CycloPure has developed and is commercializing two lead material formulations, CD-MP and CD-PFAS, for the removal of harmful contaminants from water, including the perfluorinated compounds PFOA and PFOS.
Contamination of water resources by micropollutants is a global health and environmental problem. Advanced analytics have shown that trace organic compounds including industrial chemicals, residuals of pharmaceuticals, and pesticides are persistent in water and retain toxic effects at extremely low concentrations. The company's advanced adsorption materials can be incorporated into a variety of water treatment and filtration products for domestic, industrial, hospital and municipal applications.
The company is also applying its technology to functionalize fabrics to remove VOCs and unwanted compounds, enabling the development of innovative textiles and fiber materials, such as odor controlling fabrics, respirators and other protective materials.
For more information about CycloPure, Inc. and our mission to make water safer with breakthrough adsorption technologies, please visit www.cyclopure.com or follow CycloPure at twitter.com/cyclopure, and facebook.com/cyclopure/. For Media Inquiries, see http://www.cyclopure.com/media-center/
1 "Benchmarking micropollutant removal by activated carbon and porous β-cyclodextrin polymers under environmentally relevant scenarios"; Environ. Sci. Technol., May 30, 2017, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00906
2 "Rapid removal of organic micropollutants from water by a porous β-cyclodextrin polymer"; Nature, January 14, 2016, https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v529/n7585/full/nature16185.html
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SOURCE CycloPure, Inc.