Author: Kent Sorenson, CTO
Environmental remediation is a major priority for both the public and private sectors, due in part to increasing regulations and awareness of the danger of industrial chemical contamination. One such chemical, 1,4-dioxane, is among the most prevalent emerging contaminants and a likely human carcinogen, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This harmful chemical is found in more than 20% of drinking water throughout the U.S., with regulations already in place in 18 states.
Despite the prevalence of 1,4-dioxane and its risks, there has not been a sustainable, scalable solution to this problem in large contaminated groundwater plumes. This is why I’m so excited about the launch of our breakthrough bioremediation solution, Allonnia 1,4 D-Stroy™, and the results of our pilot study.
Our product is capable of degrading 99% of 1,4-dioxane from contaminated groundwater using natural microbes. This means industrial manufacturers, state and federal municipalities, and remediation contractors now have a natural solution for removing one of the most prevalent emerging contaminants from drinking water that millions of people rely on every day. This is a major step toward tackling some of the world’s toughest environmental challenges using the power of nature.
Here’s a closer look at how 1,4 D-Stroy works in practice, how it compares to other solutions on the market, and what’s ahead in the effort to wage war on waste.
Efficient, cost-effective and scalable
Allonnia was founded on the belief that the answer to our waste and pollution challenges lies in nature, and our new solution proves that thesis. 1,4 D-Stroy uses a naturally occurring microbe that feeds on 1,4-dioxane and breaks it down into water and carbon dioxide as the only byproducts. Allonnia discovered this microbe and evaluated its ideal conditions (e.g., nutrient requirements, 1,4-dioxane concentrations, oxygen levels, cell concentration, etc.) for deployment. The most important requirement is to maintain aerobic conditions for cell metabolism. The result is a low-cost, low-maintenance in situ solution to 1,4-dioxane.
Unlike other commercial systems or chemical oxidation platforms, 1,4 D-Stroy requires no capital investment or hazardous or flammable chemicals and is delivered onsite via a portable, 18-liter, stainless steel dispersion vessel. The returnable system injects precise doses of the microbes into the contaminated water, where they engage with 1,4-dioxane, ingest it, and render it harmless. Once the 1,4 D-Stroy culture is in the ground, it grows in place by degrading 1,4-dioxane as it flows past in contaminated groundwater, eliminating the mixing challenges of in situ chemical oxidation or cometabolic bioremediation approaches.
An initial pilot program took place at an industrial site in Orange County, California, where Allonnia and engineering firm Stantec eliminated more than 98% of 1,4-dioxane from two contaminated wells in the span of 11 weeks. These results validate our lab testing and outperform other current solutions, such as cometabolic bioremediation or chemical oxidation processes, that are more difficult to operationalize.
What’s next in the war on waste
The results of our initial pilot study are remarkable. Our team is excited to continue learning about how 1,4 D-Stroy can be used to clean up large sites, provide clean drinking water for millions of Americans and enable the industrial sector to lower its carbon footprint. The second pilot study will take place at an industrial site in South Carolina in the coming weeks. Our goal is to continuously improve this product to make it even more seamless for our customers to operationalize.
Our mission at Allonnia is to use the power of biotechnology and engineered systems to help our customers reach their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals in a waste-free world. Launching 1,4 D-Stroy is a major milestone that will help us deliver on this goal.