Removing Difficult “Emerging” Water Contaminants to Safeguard Public Health

Article | November 02, 2020
Removing Difficult “Emerging” Water Contaminants to Safeguard Public Health

Process expertise and water purification partnership effectively remove 1,4-dioxane from groundwater.


1,4-dioxine is a contaminant widely found in our water sources that is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the USEPA and as possibly carcinogenic by the Internal Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  In a strategic partnership that combines forerunning process expertise with advanced treatment technologies, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies (ECT2) and DuPont Water Solutions have created a solution that reliably removes the difficult contaminant 1,4-dioxane to < 0.2 parts-per-billion.


Difficult to detect, difficult to remove

Conventional methods do not detect 1,4-dioxane in the sub-ppb range and conventional water treatment technologies (e.g., air stripping, GAC, chemical oxidation) are ineffective. DuPont, in collaboration with ECT2, was successful in developing a powerful carbonaceous adsorbent, AmberSorbTM 560, for removing miscible organic contaminants in groundwater and wastewater.  AmberSorbTM 560 is regenerable, on-site using solvents, microwave heating, hot gases, vacuum desorption, or low-pressure superheated steam.

“We’re heavily invested in continuously optimizing trace contaminant removal technologies to better tackle the rising demand for dealing with emerging pollutants and help our clients to be ahead of stiffening regulations’’ said Russell Swerdfeger, Global Marketing Manager for the municipal sector at Dupont Water Solutions.

ECT2 worked closely with DuPont on the development of AmberSorbTM 560 and also created an innovative treatment system that allows for the on-site, in-situ (in vessel), regeneration. Consistent in removing the contaminant under a variety of influxes, the system completes this process without chemicals, for a system that is simpler and safer to operate than advanced oxidation processes, such as, UV/ozone, UV/peroxide, and ozone/peroxide.

“We have a robust and sustainable solution to remove these dangerous contaminants from our water supplies”, said Dale Wynkoop Global Director of Business Development at ECT2, and “the cleanup and removal of 1,4-dioxane and other VOC’s from contaminated sites throughout the United States and abroad is vital to our mission of protecting the water that we drink.”

AmberSorbTM 560 treatment systems have successfully applied, in multiple applications, for many years in municipalities and otherwise vulnerable infrastructure, like hospitals. In one case, an AmberSorbTM 560 treatment system successfully treated a variable influent 1,4-dioxane concentration of 40 – 240 µg/L, to less than 0.2 µg/L, with a system uptime >99 percent.

“With new 1,4-dioxane cleanup regulations being considered, our partnership with DuPont helps us effectively and efficiently treat this widespread pollutant, thereby removing the threat to public health”, summarized Wynkoop.


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