Spectrum Laboratories, Inc. received a $200,000 grant from Electrical Power Research Institute and the California Energy Commission. The support will allow Spectrum to develop liquid membrane technology to remove methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from groundwater.
Some groundwater concentrations of MTBE are as high as six million parts per billion (ppb) with maximum contaminant levels being five ppb. The technology is based on chemically active liquid polymers impregnated into porous membrane structures.
The supported polymeric liquid membranes (marketed under the SeleXtrac trademark) overcome stability problems suffered by earlier liquid membrane technologies while offering solutions to a wide variety of chemical separation and purification problems.
The proprietary polymeric liquid must be custom synthesized to greatly enhance the rapid transport of a contaminant such as MTBE for safe disposal. A major part of the work at Spectrum Laboratories will apply the SPLM technology to hollow fiber modules that maximize the capacity of industrial scale equipment. Testing and industrial feasibility studies are included.