Center Studies "E-Beam" Technology for Sludge Disinfection

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Earlier this year Headworks BIO signed an option agreement with the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) that provides the company with the right to negotiate an exclusive license for TAMUS' patent pending Electron Beam (E-Beam) technology for use in municipal wastewater treatment applications.

The National Center for Electron Beam Research (NCEBR) at Texas A&M in College Station, TX, is the leading academic and research organization focused on the research, development, and commercialization of E-Beam and X-ray technologies. The activities of the NCEBR, conducted by Texas AgriLife Research, hinge around of the world's largest high-throughput research/commercial grade E-Beam and X-ray irradiation equipment.

Electron Beam processing or electronic irradiation is a process which involves using electrons, usually of high energy, to treat an object for a variety of purposes. Possible uses for electronic irradiation include sterilization, disinfection, to cross-link polymers, and modify materials.

This process has the ability to break the DNA molecules in microorganisms resulting in microbial death and rendering the product or sample sterile. E-Beam processing is currently in use commercially for the sterilization of medical products and pasteurizing food to protect against foodborne pathogens.

Wastewater Applications

The NCEBR is researching ways to harness E-Beam and X-ray technologies to treat municipal drinking water, wastewater, and industrial waste streams. It is hypothesized that high energy (10 MeV) Electron Beam technology might one day be used to disinfect municipal biosolids to Class A standards, disinfect wastewater effluents, reduce estrogenic activity in sludges and effluent, and potentially reduce digester residence time and enhance methane production.

E-Beam disinfection or sterilization is powered by electricity and can be a quick "switch-on, switch-off technology" that can be used to treat material that is flowing through pipes or on conveyor belts. It can oxidize organics and inactivate microbial pathogens. Studies performed at Texas A&M demonstrate that E-Beam technology can be used on sludges at varying doses to obtain sludge that meet Class A specifications.

Headworks is an exhibitor at the WEFTEC.12 event and can be found at Booth No. 2937

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