Clarkson prof plans field studies of new drinking water toxin removal method
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 10:14 am

Prof. Michelle Crimi is planning field studies of a new method she and colleagues devised for eliminating PFA contamination from drinking water.

POTSDAM -- Engineering professor and Clarkson University Director of Engineering and Management Michelle Crimi is working to implement field studies on a new way to eliminate PFA groundwater contamination. Photo submitted by Clarkson Uniersity

Crimi, founder of RemWell, and business partner Fiona Laramay have developed the InSRT reactor that treats groundwater contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) on-site and underground, directly where the contamination occurs and before it gets into the municipal water supply, which can save customers up to 40 percent in annual operating costs, the researchers claim.

Clarkson graduate student Blossom Nzeribe Nwedo, who is working with Crimi on developing treatment methods for the removal of PFAS in groundwater, explained that these compounds are found in drinking water, workplaces, and a wide range of consumer products ranging from food packaging and non-stick products to outdoor clothing and aqueous fire-fighting foams. They are persistent, have the potential to bioaccumulate and pose a potential risk to humans.

Current water treatment options do not attack PFAs, but several states have implemented regulations regarding levels in their water.

Since its founding a year ago, with the support of NEXUS-NY, one of NYSERDA’s Proof-of-Concept Centers, RemWell was awarded $50,000 in the 2018 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, and is negotiating with large companies to implement field studies.

“We are very excited that our work was selected as one of the winners in this year student paper competition,” Nwedo said, referring to the 2019 Geosyntec Groundwater Student Paper Competition.

“This means that our work here at Clarkson is recognized as one that will have an impact in the groundwater remediation field for the treatment of PFAS regarding lower cost treatment technologies," Nwedo said.