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Technical advances to detect and remove contaminants in water for safety and security


NATO: Science for Peace and Security Programme

Project title: Technical advances to detect and remove contaminants in water for safety and security.

Duration: 36 months

Start and end of the project: 2013 – 2016

Participants:
International Clean Water Institute, Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, Herndon, VA;
Ghitu Institute of Electronic Engineering and Nanotechnologies, Institute of 
Chemistry of Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chisinau, Moldova; State Engineering University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia;
Institute of Geotechnics, Slovack Academy of Sciences, Kosice, Slovak Republic;
Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Goal of the project: 
The proposed activity seeks to use advanced (nano) technology to detect and mitigate inadvertent and intentional (CBRN) water source contamination, develop a stand-alone prototype to supply clean water, and develop a GPS/GIS based Contamination Identification and Level Monitoring Electronic Display Systems (CILM-EDS) prototype to spatially monitor contaminants and water levels, in event of natural catastrophe.

Objectives of the Research and Project and alignment with NATO priorities:
The challenges presented above are rather complex in nature. Our existing partnerships and strong motivation to address these challenge is demonstrated by our on-going research collaboration in this direction and establishment of International Clean Water Institutes with affiliated laboratories in Kosice, Slovakia; Thessaloniki, Greece; Yerevan, Armenia; and Chisinau, Moldova.

The research under this program will focus on three distinct, yet unifying areas of the project.
1. Sensing and detection (U.S., Moldova, and Armenia)

  • Metals (As, Hg, Cr, Pb, etc.)
  • Pathogenic agents (bacteria, virus, proteins, Cryptosporidium etc.)
  • Organic compounds (TCE, aceto0ne, household degreasers, halogenated organics, etc.)
  • Pharmaceuticals (antibiotics; steroids-fluxoymesterone, methyl-testosterone, nandrolone, oxandrolone, oxymetholone, testosterone, and stanozolol; acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
  • Pesticide run-off
  • Compounds with large shelf-life in water

These sensors/detectors are intended to be capable of detecting/sensing multiple agents simultaneously in quantities comparable to minimum allowable contamination levels in drinking water. 

2. Contamination Remediation Strategies (U.S., Slovakia and Greece)

  • Metal, inorganic and organic contaminants removal
  • TIC, TIMs, and Compounds with long shelf life
  • Pharmaceuticals

3. GIS/GPS based Contamination Identification and Level Monitoring Electronic Display Systems (CILM-EDS) prototype to spatially monitor contaminants and water levels. (USA)

 

Implementation of the results:
The single most important factor for a successful transition of knowledge from research laboratory to the commercial sector is its practical application. The second challenge is obtaining a productive interaction between the players who are needed for transforming ideas into successful products on the market. The other contributing factors are personal networks and interaction of professionals between industries, the universities, the financial sector, and the state agencies for R&D. Co-directors plan to seek public, industrial, government, and commercial enterprise engagement. The Republic of Moldova and State and Federal Government in the U.S. have shown a keen interest in the project. Through personal network, SET Gmbh has agreed to provide VC and technology transfer support through their clients base in the US and Europe.