Printer Friendly

ENVIROGEN AWARDED INNOVATION CONTRACTS

 LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Envirogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENVG), a leader in the field of biotechnology, today announced its selection as recipient of several research contracts from the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program sponsored by the federal government.
 One of the contract awards, for Phase II at $445,000 from the Air Force, follows a successfully executed $50,000 Phase I award the company received during 1991. The objective of the Phase I project was to test a laboratory-scale biological system designed to biologically degrade both benzene, a fuel component, and trichloroethylene (TCE), a common solvent, from contaminated groundwater. TCE is a widely distributed chlorinated organic groundwater and soil pollutant and a suspected carcinogen. Used for many years throughout industry as a solvent and degreaser, TCE is known as the most prevalent toxic chemical at Superfund sites as well as being a priority target for remediation within the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.
 Benzene-based fuels and TCE represent two classes of chemicals commonly found in contaminated groundwater. The operation of a laboratory-scale reactor in Phase I established the feasibility of a dual phase microbial treatment system and provided operational parameters critical for development of the planned Phase II demonstration, which will scale up the project to a pilot system in the field. The work plan outlined for this phase includes: the selection of an Air Force site; characterization of groundwater contamination; assessment of chemical incompatibilities followed by system design conducted at Envirogen's research facilities; fabrication, testing and delivery to the site of actual pilot-scale system; and, startup, operation and assessment of the field demonstration. If successful, Envirogen said it intends to incorporate the data collected in Phases I and II for the design and operation of a dual phase commercial system.
 Prior to its work under the SBIR Program, Envirogen had developed the prototype laboratory-scale bioreactor used in Phase I under contract with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Technology Development for the biodegradation of TCE alone. The reactor resulted in better than 90 percent destruction of TCE from a contaminated groundwater or air stream. In related work under the TCE Program, the company has constructed a 1,000-gallon bioreactor which since September of 1992 has undergone successful pilot-scale field testing. The economic analysis generated as part of the project indicates typical savings of 70 to 80 percent using the biological treatment system as compared to carbon adsorption. Ultimately, the goal of this program is to develop a full- scale commercial system for remediation of TCE-contaminated groundwater.
 Envirogen's overall goal as part of the Air Force SBIR Program is to incorporate this earlier work with TCE into a biological treatment system able to effectively treat a wider range of not only chlorinated but also nonchlorinated organic groundwater contaminants, including, but not limited to, benzene and TCE. Biological destruction offers a convenient, low cost, reliable method for effectively removing organic contaminants without polluting the atmosphere or merely transferring contaminants to another phase that will require further treatment or disposal. Experiments performed to date and preliminary economic comparisons indicate that biological treatment systems have significant potential as cost-effective destruction processes for organic contaminants as compared to currently available remediation options.
 In a second related area of research, Envirogen has begun innovative biological work on environmental restoration as outlined in a $50,000 SBIR contract received from the National Science Foundation. This Phase I study aims to overcome a technical difficulty which occurs when attempting in situ remediation by injecting bacteria into the subsurface. The natural adhesive properties of microorganisms together with subsurface soil properties tend to limit penetration of the bacteria into the target zone, thus affecting the extent of degradation of the contaminant.
 The project outline includes generating variants of a natural microorganism with demonstrated capabilities to degrade TCE then selecting adhesion-deficient strains by a sand column adhesion assay. This process involves passing groups of variants through a series of columns to selectively remove the organisms which adhere to the sand. The resulting variants are then tested for the adhesion-deficient characteristics and prepared for Phase II of the study, which will involve stability and performance evaluation in a simulated, laboratory- scale, TCE-contaminated "aquifer."
 Envirogen's approach to address this physical limitation of microbial degradation is innovative by seeking a biological solution to the problem rather than a mechanical or chemical one. If successful, the study could serve as a model toward the creation of a variety of adhesion-deficient microorganisms, each uniquely targeted toward a specific environmental contaminant.
 Separately, Envirogen has received another SBIR contract award of $50,000 from the National Science Foundation to demonstrate the increased efficacy of in situ bioremediation of contaminated ground water using electrokinetic technology.
 The objective of this Phase I study is to establish that an electric field can be used to both effectively direct the movement of bacteria through a laboratory-scale aquifer model and to increase their rate of transport through the subsurface. The effectiveness of in situ approaches is dependent upon the ability of the biocatalyst to come in contact with contaminated surfaces. Bacteria introduced to a site by injection can migrate on their own through the subsurface or in response to natural or imposed hydrogeological gradients; however, because much of the movement is multidirectional or not in the direction of the site of contamination, optimal contact of the bacteria with the targeted contaminated surfaces may not be realized.
 Envirogen will demonstrate this technology with bacteria capable of degrading TCE, vinyl chloride, dichloroethylene and other related contaminants from the surface of aquifer materials. Successful demonstration of this project furthers a technology that will substantially increase the effectiveness of many in situ approaches for aquifer remediation, thereby reducing the time and cost of aquifer cleanup.
 According to Roger J. Colley, president and chief executive officer of Envirogen, "We feel fortunate that our company has been chosen to perform Phase II research work for the Air Force and the two Phase I contracts for the National Science Foundation. Envirogen has an important program under way to help solve the nation's problem of TCE and fuel contamination, and these awards greatly enhance our momentum towards an economic solution."
 Envirogen is an environmental biotechnology company dedicated to the business of discovering, developing, and applying new and effective solutions to the task of degrading or transforming toxic and hazardous wastes. Through its subsidiary, Vapex Environmental Technologies, Inc., the company also designs and implements vapor extraction systems for the on-site removal of organic contaminants from soils and groundwater.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Gale Smith, corporate communications of Envirogen, 609-936-9300/
 (ENVG)


CO: Envirogen, Inc., U.S. Air Force; National Science Foundation ST: New Jersey IN: SU: CON

MK-LJ -- PH007 -- 6839 01/20/93 11:25 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
Words:1122
Previous Article:NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS MAKES STATEMENT ON ACQUISITION RUMORS
Next Article:DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE BLENDS FOR R-502 AND R-22 LEADS ELF ATOCHEM TO INVEST IN HFC 143A FACILITY
Topics:


Related Articles
ENVIROGEN CONDUCTS SUCCESSFUL FIELD TRIAL TO BIODEGRADE NO. 1 SUPERFUND TOXIC
ENVIROGEN REPORTS THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS
ENVIROGEN REPORTS THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS
ENVIROGEN ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL DEMONSTRATION OF BIOLOGICAL AIR POLLUTION CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
ENVIROGEN FILES REGISTRATION STATEMENT FOR PUBLIC OFFERING
ENVIROGEN NAMES NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
ENVIROGEN AWARDED CONTRACT FOR FLUIDIZED BED REACTOR SYSTEM
ENVIROGEN and Princeton University Lead Project Funded by DOE
Envirogen Designs Membrane Bioreactor System for N.J. Municipality.
Envirogen Announces CLEAN-IN-PLACE(TM) Patent Award.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters