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SBIR Phase I: Nanostructured Sorbent for Hg Removal from Scrubber Water to Below 10 ppt

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project focuses on the<br/>evaluation and optimization of a promising sorbent, Silica-Titania Composites<br/>(STC), for mercury removal from coal-fired power plant scrubber water to<br/>below 10 ppt. Coal-fired power plants are a predominant mercury emitter in<br/>gases and liquids. There are no commercial technologies for mercury removal<br/>from scrubber water to levels anticipated under future regulations (i.e., 1 to<br/>10 ppt). Sol-gel Solutions, LLC (Sol-gel) has obtained mercury concentrations<br/>below 1.3 ppt when evaluating the STC for mercury removal from a mixed<br/>wastewater from a coal-fired power plant. These levels would comply with the<br/>Great Lakes Initiative, a strict criterion that will be enforced in parts of<br/>the U.S. in 2010. The objective for the proposed project is to optimize the<br/>technology for mercury removal from scrubber water from several coal-fired<br/>power plants, with the ultimate goal of designing a commercial system. It is<br/>expected that the STC will effectively remove mercury to below 10 ppt, with<br/>the potential of being recovered and reused.<br/><br/>The broader impacts of this research are the protection of humans and<br/>wildlife from exposure to mercury. In humans, this exposure may impair<br/>neurological development, particularly in fetuses and during early childhood.<br/>A key element of the proposed work will be the promotion of interest in<br/>science and engineering via dissemination of the learnings from the proposed<br/>work and related fundamental science to high school and community college<br/>students, among others, via a targeted "webinar" and newsletter.

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