Portable Electrochemical COVID‑19 Unit for Biomedical Wastewater Treatment

Tofani, Rick | $75,000

Alberta Southern Alberta Inst of Technology 2020 NSERC College COVID-19 Grant

A large amount of COVID‑19 biomedical and healthcare liquid and solid wastes is either not appropriately treated due to inadequate technologies, or not treated at all. Typically, the four basic processes involved in the treatment of healthcare liquid and solid wastes are conventional systems using thermal, chemical, irradiative and biological processes. Hospitals or health care facilities that are not connected to a comprehensive wastewater treatment system and use a contact chamber/tank will require additional measures. The potential ramifications of the COVID‑19 pandemic on waste and wastewater are: (i) the long half-life of the virus on materials such as waste containers, bags, and in wastewater, and (ii) the possible transmission via contaminated waste surfaces and aerosols from wastewater systems. Therefore alternative and highly effective treatment processes and mitigation measures are critical. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is partnering with Blue Eden CleanTech Inc. (BE), to rapidly assemble, test, evaluate and commercialize a novel, high performance and cost-effective electrochemical unit which is capable of COVID‑19 and pathogen destruction from biomedical wastewater. BE has expertise in advanced electrochemistry through the application of its electro-flotation and electrochemical oxidation devices for wastewater treatment. BE utilizes Boron Doped Diamond (BDD) electrodes in a proprietary configuration to produce ozone and hydroxyl (OH) radicals for effective destruction of COVID‑19 contamination. BE’s Canadian technology can provide a potential solution to reduce the wastewater associated health risks to the public and the environment.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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