Editor’s pickWEFTEC: New biobased adsorbent captures PFAS from wastewater to be exhibited

13-09-2018
WEFTEC,biobased adsorbent,PFAS,wastewater

A multi-award winning company, which has developed a novel bio-based adsorbent material that can selectively capture micropollutants including pesticides, pharmaceuticals and high-performance chemicals like per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from wastewater, will be exhibiting at WEFTEC 2018.

CustoMem, founded in 2015 by two Imperial College London graduates, has combined its expertise in biomaterials and synthetic biology to create the new bio-adsorbent called CGM (CustoMem Granular Media). 

This new bio-adsorbent has been developed at a time when there is increasing public concern and push for regulation of PFAS chemicals in water sources. After the recent state of emergency in Michigan county and toxicological research by US Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA is under pressure to act against public PFAS exposure.

There are also increasing environmental issues at commercial airports, military sites and petrochemical plants where Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs), which contain PFAS, are irreplaceable for high performance fire fighting.

“Our CGM product can treat these industries’ industrial wastewater and help restore legacy contamination sites, thus preventing leaching into drinking water and agricultural land. The adsorbent can selectively capture micropollutants in standard steel tank processing equipment and the captured waste is disposed of safely or re-purposed. The CGM can then be chemically regenerated using a non-hazardous proprietary wash,” said CustoMem CEO Henrik Hagemann. “The superior performance and cost-effectiveness of our products have been validated in our laboratory and in initial trials with clients. We are currently undertaking on-site trials and have formalised two agreements with strategic partners for initial feasibility studies. We are extremely excited and interested by any opportunities to develop strategic partnerships with other companies in North America.”

And that is not all.

“A critical point,” explained Henrik Hagemann, “is that our CGM’s optimised performance allows faster flowrates and saves floor space, utilising up to four times less plant footprint than activated carbon solutions. This provides significant cost savings to customers compared with traditional adsorbent materials like anion-exchange media and granular activated carbon.” 

CustoMem’s award wins include the Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize, a major UK materials science award; the Bio-start competition for companies using engineering biology to solve significant global problems and the Horizon 2020 award from the European Innovation Council which supports top class innovators and entrepreneurs.

WEFTEC 2018 is the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference. The conference will be held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center from September 29 to October 3, 2018.