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EPA's Pending Patents

Synthesis of Metallic Materials Imbedded in Activated Carbon to Degrade Chlorinated and Fluorinated Organic Pollutants

First Named Inventor: Souhail Al-Abed

Decontamination of ground water, soils, and sediments from chlorinated pollutants remains a remediation challenge in many areas. This invention provides an innovative method which results in a sustainable and effective approach to remediate persistent halogenated contaminants (PHCs) without contaminating sediment, sludge, and/or water. This invention will abate environmental contamination locally and globally, while providing a basis for legislation that deals with PHCs without the use of hazardous chemicals or introduction of secondary contamination.

US Serial Number 16/793,538

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Filter Assembly for Disinfecting Opportunistic Premise Plumbing Pathogens Using Multiple Wavelength UV-LEDs

First Named Inventor: Hodon Ryu

This invention would be used as an additional water disinfection tool in the premise plumbing systems and provides a shower head with low power ultraviolet light emitting diodes that will inactivate Legionella during hot showers. Although tap water meets drinking water regulations, opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs), such as Legionella, are frequently detected in hot water, and as a result, aerosolized hot water may increase the chance of inhaling Legionella during hot showers. This invention could effectively inactivate OPPPs in hot water and would have applicable functions in hospitals, senior care facilities, and other buildings where immunosuppressed individuals are at risk from infection of OPPPs. This invention could also be used in military facilities, particularly in aircraft carriers and VA hospitals, providing a Legionella-free environment.

US Serial Number 16/520,880

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Using 4-Acetoxyphenol as the Substrate for Modular Hydrolase Biosensors

First Named Inventor: Tao Li

This is a methodology which can be used in electrochemical biosensors to detect multiple water contaminants, such as arsenic and carbamate pesticides. This enables for real-time measurement of water pollutants that have a high impact on human health. With the use of 4-acetoxyphenol as the substrate in the sensor, it allows for better specificity when identifying different chemical bonds. This improved detection would mean higher effectiveness in eliminating pollutants from water sources.

US Serial Number 16/793,455

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Cross-Assembly Phage DNA Sequences, Primers and Probes for PCR-based Identification of Human Fecal Pollution Sources

First Named Inventor: Orin C. Shanks

The purpose of this invention is to provide DNA primers or probes which can crossbreed with and allow determination of the presence of the human gut cross-assembly phage. This is important as the invention will allow for tracking and identification of human fecal pollution separate from other fecal contaminations in waterways. Most human disease has been transmitted via fecal contaminated water and often disease-causing bacteria and viruses found in feces are the causative agent. Modern sewage treatment is primarily focused on killing or removing these pathogenic microbes prior to discharge into the environment. This invention will help to further identify human fecal contamination and address this issue within water systems.

US Serial Number 15/530,122

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Cell Culture Expose System

First Named Inventor: Mark Higuchi

The CCES is an in-vitro exposure assessment tool to evaluate cell cultures grown on an air-liquid interface (ALI) exposed to aerosols, vapors, and gases or combinations with well-defined generation and exposure systems used in the conduct of in-vivo inhalation exposures and clinical primary cell cultures assessments. This could be used for safety evaluations or toxicological testing of airborne chemicals or pollutants that would to be dosed in an exposure system used for in-vivo inhalation exposure studies.

A wide range of in-vitro and in-vivo exposure assessment tools have been employed to experimentally assess the toxicological activity of aerosols, vapors, and gases. Although in-vivo inhalation exposure studies permit biological effect assessments, the relevance of rodent studies and/or mechanistic links for human risk assessment is disputed. In-vitro tools offer an attractive alternative and addition to in-vivo, but assessments of multi-pollutant atmospheres are challenging since cultured cells are grown in liquid suspension or adhered to a solid substrate covered with medium. The CCES will deploy an in-vitro air-liquid interface (ALI) exposure system to reliably assess the toxicological and other biological end-points and properties of selected multi-pollutant mixtures.

US Serial Number 15/821,096

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Double-bottom Test Tube Kit

First Named Inventor: Elizabeth Sams

Helping people avoid environmental hazards is an important part of Epidemiology. Finding innovative methods to measure and monitor health is a never-ending quest. Saliva sample collection devices offer an easy-to-use, non-invasive tool that collect saliva for various health biomarkers analyses. These biomarker measurements provide researchers with invaluable data that can be used to monitor population health. Finding an appropriate saliva collection tool can be challenging. In response to this challenge, EPA developed a double-bottom test tube as a simple and low-cost collection tool that reduces processing time and cross-contamination. This test tube can be used for any wet specimen collection.

US Serial Number 15/880,190

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Microwave Drying Apparatus for the Minimization of Drinking Water Plant Residuals

First Named Inventor: Darren Lytle

This technology is a method and apparatus for treating residuals or waste streams from a plant, such as a drinking water treatment plant. The method includes the steps of obtaining plant residuals or waste streams from a water treatment plant and irradiating the plant residuals or waste streams using microwave radiation from a microwave source. The method also includes the step of drying the plant residuals or waste streams to a predetermined moisture, volume, or weight content reduction and disposing of the same.

Common methods of residual disposal include discharging directly into an on-site sanitary sewer, discharging or shipping to a wastewater treatment plant, drying followed by landfilling, land application, deep well injection, and discharging into a water body or stream. Given the regulatory constraints, disposal restrictions, and the potentially hazardous nature of water treatment residuals, developing effective, safe, affordable, and sustainable residual management practices is a critical consideration to any drinking water treatment design and environmental protection. The microwave irradiation is an efficient, environmentally friendly, and economically viable heating method for many applications. Microwave technology is emerging as an alternative energy source powerful enough to accomplish chemical transformations in minutes, instead of hours or even days.

US Serial Number 15/906,157

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Highly Tunable Fluorescent Core-Shell Particles for Environmental Release Simulation and Tracking Applications

First Named Inventor: Anthony Zimmer

The invention discloses a core-shell material engineered both as a simulant and tracer. This apparatus is designed to prove a wide range of experimental results based primarily upon an aerosol generation technique known as electrospraying. Given the current lack of understanding of transport of contaminants, a tunable simulant and/or tracer technology is needed to understand environmental contamination.

The critical advantages of this aerosol synthesis process in producing tailored core-shell materials includes, but is not limited to:

  • Efficient, high production volumes.
  • Highly monodisperse core-shell particles.
  • Production of core-shell particles that can be specifically tuned to produce particle sizes ranging from nanometer to micrometer particle sizes.
  • Functionalizing the surface of the core-shell particles to produce desired particle-particle and particle-media (e.g., soil) behavior.

US Serial Number 16/022,153

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Lead Exposure Assessment Device (L.E.A.D.)

First Named Inventor: Darren Lytle

This device determines average lead levels, as well as cumulative exposure, at a drinking water tap in a home or other similar dwelling. The device removes lead, and possibly other contaminants of concern, from drinking water taps or point-of-use (POU) locations, all the while measuring the average daily lead exposure from drinking water.

The advantage of the invention is that lead and other metals can be passively accumulated over a measured cumulative volume of drinking water. This will provide basic health protection, both during the monitoring stage while the device is being used and afterward as a removal device through normal household use.

US Serial Number 16/125,039

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Genus Specific Detection of Toxic Cyanobacteria

First Named Inventor: Jingrang Lu

This is a detection system for toxic cyanobacteria using qPCR that can provide immediate information on the occurrence of a harmful algal genus and their quantities and potential toxin production.

The major difference of this invention from previous ones are:

  • Genus-specific toxic cyanobacteria;
  • Standardized qPCR reaction (i.e., all with the same annealing temperature);
  • Specific built standard curve; and
  • All assays to be used as an array or integrated as group test set of assays, such as a set of genus assays for certain toxin or genus assays for certain cyanobacteria category.

US Serial Number 16/142,319

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A Low Maintenance Air Pollution Sensor to Measure Black Carbon, Brown Carbon, Total Carbon, and Organic Carbon in Indoor Air, Outdoor Air, and Near Emissions Sources in Real Time at High-Time Resolution

First Named Inventor: Paul Solomon

This technology is a device comprising of a sensor that measures simultaneously, in real time, four contaminants found in air: black carbon, brown carbon, total carbon, and organic carbon. This device also contains a filter that is thermally regulated for long-term use.

The sensor measures substances, such as diesel emissions and biomass burning, in indoor and outdoor environments, employing stationary indoor and outdoor platforms and mobile platforms. These mobile platforms include personal devices or platforms on the ground or in the air (e.g., balloons or unmanned aerial drones).

US Serial Number 16/288,925

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Sample Device for Mobile Water Analysis

First Named Inventor: David Wahman

This invention allows for multiple water samples to be simultaneously analyzed by a mobile water analysis system. The technology is intended to be used with the Hach SL 1000 Portable Parallel Analyzer. Various combinations of samples and a number of parameter measurements can be achieved. For example, four samples could be simultaneously analyzed for a single parameter or two samples could be simultaneously analyzed for two parameters. The current sample device SL 1000 only provides the ability to analyze a single sample at a time for one to four parameters. The ability to measure multiple samples simultaneously would decrease the required time to analyze a given number of samples where less than four parameters were desired. A second advantage of the invention is that by allowing multiple samples to be run simultaneously, duplicate samples can be run at the same time, which is important if the water quality is temporally transient. A third advantage is that a smaller sample volume would be required for measuring a single sample (approximately 25 mL versus the 125 mL currently required).

US Serial Number 16/365,111

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