Funding to Accelerate Scale-up of Micropollutant-Removing Polymer
CycloPure, Inc. announced today that the National Science Foundation has awarded the company a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant in the amount of $225,000. The company will use these funds to continue the development and scale-up of its high affinity polymer, CD-MP, for use against micropollutants in water treatment applications.
Micropollutants, made up of industrial chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical compounds, are pervasive in water resources, presenting health risks even in low concentration. Certain contaminants are known endocrine disruptors, and others have been associated with developmental disorders and certain cancers.
“We are pleased to receive this award from the National Science Foundation,” commented Will Dichtel, CycloPure co-founder and Chief Science Officer. “It attests to our polymer’s potential for important health benefits in water treatment. NSF’s support of this technology has been valued throughout development, starting with its funding of the initial study through its Center for Chemical Innovation Program and the Center for Sustainable Polymers, which we first reported in Nature in January 2016.”1
This first-of-a-kind adsorption material was profiled in a recent study, published by Environmental Science & Technology, reporting on the polymer’s superior performance against activated carbon in the removal of micropollutants.2 In this study of the binding of 83 micropollutants, CD-MP significantly outperformed activated carbon in contaminant uptake and removal, and demonstrated resistance to fouling by natural organic matter – a major deficiency impacting the performance of activated carbon.
“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
Micropollutants are named for their presence in concentrations of one microgram and less per liter of water. Dichtel noted that “The removal of micropollutants is an exacting process, requiring the targeting of trace organic molecules among complex mixtures of compounds found in water resources. With our technology, we are able to engineer affinity into high surface area materials to produce a new class of adsorbents that rapidly bind to and remove micropollutants from contaminated water. We are very excited about the implications for water treatment.”
“The timing of the NSF funding coincides perfectly with recent developments, and our shift to commercialization of this exciting material,” said Frank Cassou, CycloPure CEO. “We have now shown effectiveness in removal for a diverse group of micropollutants. This funding will accelerate our scale-up efforts, so we can get our CD-MP polymer to the market for use in domestic, commercial and municipal water treatment systems.”
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.
About the Company:
Using proprietary technologies, CycloPure has developed and is commercializing two lead material formulations, CD-MP and CD-PFAS, for the removal of harmful contaminants from water, including the perfluorinated compounds PFOA and PFOS.
Contamination of water resources by micropollutants is a global health and environmental problem. Advanced analytics have shown that trace organic compounds, including industrial chemicals, residuals of pharmaceuticals, and pesticides, are persistent in water and retain toxic effects at extremely low concentrations. The company’s advanced adsorption materials can be incorporated into a variety of water treatment and filtration products for domestic, industrial, hospital and municipal applications.
The company is also applying its technology to functionalize fabrics to remove VOCs and unwanted compounds, enabling the development of innovative textiles and fiber materials, such as odor controlling fabrics, respirators and other protective materials.
For more information about CycloPure, Inc. and our mission to make water safer with breakthrough adsorption technologies, please visit www.cyclopure.com or follow CycloPure at twitter.com/cyclopure, and facebook.com/cyclopure/. For Media Inquiries, see http://www.cyclopure.com/media-center/
About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Program:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7
billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Learn more at www.nsf.gov/SBIR.
1“Rapid removal of organic micropollutants from water by a porous β-cyclodextrin polymer”; Nature, January 14, 2016, https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v529/n7585/full/nature16185.html
2“Benchmarking micropollutant removal by activated carbon and porous β-cyclodextrin polymers under environmentally relevant scenarios”; Environ. Sci. Technol., May 30, 2017, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00906