Phosphate recovery from wastewater using Lehigh University's hybrid ion exchange nanotechnology (HIX-nano)

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Arup SenGupta
Co-PIs: Derick Brown

During the last five years, Hybrid Ion Exchange Nanotechnology (HIX-Nano) was developed at Lehigh University. At the heart of this technology is a new class of polymeric materials that are essentially anion exchange resins within which zirconium oxide nanoparticles have been irreversibly dispersed through a proprietary technique. A US patent has been assigned to Lehigh University for invention of HIX-Nanomaterials. To date, this hybrid material has been used primarily to remove arsenic and fluoride from contaminated ground waters in Asia and Africa.

ESSRE Inc, a company in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is much interested in collaborating with Lehigh University to apply HIX-Nano for recovering phosphate from wastewater. Pollutant nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, are known contributors to the impairment of estuaries and numerous other water bodies of water in and outside the Commonwealth of PA. Most importantly, the project attempts to recover phosphate from waste water collected from swine grazing plant and use that as a potential fertilizer. ESSRE will collect and provide wastewater from swine raising plants and the laboratory studies to develop a process to recover phosphate as commercially acceptable phosphate will be carried out at Lehigh University. During the course of the project, ESSRE is committed to providing a cash contribution of $10,000. ESSRE is also committed to applying for federal SBIR grants for the long-term application of the HIX-nanotechnology leading to removal and simultaneous recovery of phosphate from waste water streams.