Central Michigan University Research Corporation and Dendritic Nanotechnologies, Inc. have developed technology capable of absorbing toxic chemicals from ground water that could lead to a revolutionary ground water purification system.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program has awarded CMU-RC and DNT a $1.3 million contract to refine the process using DNT's Priostar dendrimer-based nanotechnology.

The project focuses on a worldwide breakthrough that will result in a cost effective ground water purification system. Its anticipated commercial launch is set for September 2008. Plans call for the manufacturing, sales and technical support systems to be housed in Michigan.

The initial ground water purification target is perchlorate, a chemical that has contaminated the groundwater in some areas of the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that low levels of perchlorate are widespread throughout the U.S., and 27 U.S. Department of Defense facilities have been identified as having perchlorate contamination. This type of contamination potentially affects the health of millions of women, as perchlorate interferes with iodide absorption by the thyroid gland.

Ground water accounts for about 50 percent of the nation’s municipal, domestic, and agricultural water supply. When polluted, it can endanger public health or threaten the environment.

The novel nanoscale dendritic polymer technologies were developed in Mount Pleasant by DNT and will be refined by Central Michigan University faculty in the National Dendrimer Center. Michigan leads the nation in dendritic polymer research and product development.

“Not only will this technology serve the legislative and environmental requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense in a cost effective manner, it will easily transition into the public sector,” said Robert Berry, president of DNT. “The economic need for a water remediation and recovery system that is cost effective, recovers precious metals for recycling, and releases water that exceeds the Clean Water Act standards back into the environment will be highly desired worldwide.”

Dendritic Nanotechnologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starpharma Holdings Limited, was recruited by CMU-RC to become part of its Mount Pleasant SmartZone, a 300-acre technology park authorized by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The area has been designed to attract and stimulate the growth of high-tech businesses that require a synergistic relationship with doctoral/research institutions like CMU.

Source: Central Michigan University