April 1, 2010 – The National Science Foundation awarded a two-year long grant to Reactive Innovations to develop a water disinfection system based on Reactive’s electrochemical generator that produces ozone directly into process water. Because of its excellent disinfection and oxidation qualities, ozone is widely used for drinking water and process water purification treatment. Ozone has been proven to deactivate resistant microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium Parvam and Giardia Lambia that have caused a large number of epidemics in the United States through drinking and process water. To enable wider adoption of ozone as an disinfectant, improvements in ozone generators are needed that are safer to operate than the corona arc discharge systems and that are more cost effective to install and operate. Building on demonstration of technical and economic feasibility during an earlier effort, this new initiative will develop an electrochemistry based water disinfection system for commercial deployment. The effort will focus on finalizing the electrocatalyst formulation, optimizing the module design for performance and cost, incorporating the reactor module into a packaged end-use product, and evaluating the process for disinfecting water in field applications using strategic partners.
The broader impact of this project is an improved and lower cost disinfection system that will prevent the vast outbreaks of contaminated water that harm the general public. These occurrences push the utmost urgency for advanced quality control methods, especially in food manufacturing. With the wider adoption of ozone generation systems, both water and food-borne diseases would diminish due to its effectiveness as a disinfectant against Lysteria, Salmonella, E. coli, and any other pathogens found in fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. Contributions to the scientific and technological field will be realized by the improved electrochemical reactor design and catalyst development that enables an ozone disinfection system that is low in cost and is energy efficient.