Synanomet Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Water Purification Technology
August 12th, 2014 by Rebecca Todd
AbTech Holdings Inc. (OTC QB: ABHD), an environmental technologies and engineering firm, announced Aug. 6 that is has signed Arkansas-based Synanomet, LLC to an exclusive license agreement that will allow it to use Synanomet’s nanomaterial-based water purification technology for removal of heavy metals from contaminated water such as storm water, and produced water from mining as well as oil and gas industries.
Synanomet’s innovative solution answers the need for a new commercial technology to remove phosphorus and heavy metals from water treatment plants and storm water collection systems.
Using conventional water treatment plants to meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements, phosphorus remediation could cost over $40 billion. In addition, high levels of the Selenium IV and VI currently plague the mining industry. Selenium can cause deformities in aquatic animals and beyond a certain limit is toxic to humans.
“The regulations and enforcement around addressing these toxic contaminants have been increasing regularly, and the market need is very tangible. We have researched and tested a number of heavy metal removal technologies. The Synanomet media is the first to consistently meet the high standards required,” noted Jonathan Thatcher, AbTech’s chief operating officer. AbTech’s announcement said tests of Synanomet’s product on synthetic-spiked samples of selenium IV and VI showed removal from several hundred parts per billion to non-detectable levels.
Synanomet holds exclusive patent rights to its technology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and conducted much of the research required to develop and test its technology through Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research awards from the EPA.
“Without SBIR funding, Synanomet would not be in the position that it is today. The SBIR funding, especially Phase II, allowed us to address issues relevant to scale up as well as specific problems faced by the water industry,” said Dr. Tito Viswanathan, company chief executive officer and chief scientific officer. “For sustained interest by a company partner, we need to show that we are committed to our work and produce data to show validity.”
Viswanathan credited market research from UALR’s Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center for informing him about AbTech. He worked closely with ASBTDC Innovation Consultant Rebecca Norman and the center’s market research staff to gather data required for the commercialization plan section of Synanomet’s Phase II SBIR proposal in 2013. “Using an ASBTDC commercialization assessment report, we identified AbTech as the most viable industry partner in terms of our goal and approach for water purification technology,” he said.
AbTech will conduct field validation at both mining sites and storm water applications, anticipating commercialization in the coming months.