US-based Symbios Technologies has received a phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), for advanced water treatment technology.
The two-year SBIR grant has been awarded to promote and commercialise Symbios' tubular plasma reactor (TPR) for water treatment, and improve the economic and environmental impact of domestic oil and gas extraction.
Symbios' TPR is a new way of removing organic pollutants and micro-organisms from water by using low-power, distributed electrolytic technology.
It minimises the amount of chlorine and other chemicals needed to clean the water, and also reduces the costs in treating oil and gas wastewaters by almost 95%.
TPR can cut the demand for fresh water for hydraulic fracturing, and eases the transportation, regulatory and cost issues associated with chemical oxidants and biocides, as well as prevent well contamination and equipment corrosion.
Symbios Technologies president and CEO Justin Bzdek said the company's technologies can boost research and commercial expansions in power generation, biorefining, pharmaceutical, and food beverage markets.
"Symbios' non-chemical plasma water treatment system is a potential game-changer in oil and gas wastewater remediation, and could make possible widespread recycling of fracking wastewaters vs the predominant practice of deep well disposal," Bzdek added.
The NSF funding will also be used to improve the company's successful lab prototype, which was developed and tested at the Colorado State University Research Innovation Centre, to create commercial prototype and prepare for production.
Image: The National Science Foundation (NSF) building. Photo: Courtesy of National Science Foundation.