Novel Electron Beam Technology for Water Treatment

C.A. Cooper, S. Grdanovska, A. Cox, G. Rijal, K. Patel, K. Kumar
Fermi National Accelerator Lab,
United States

Keywords: electron beam, perfluorates, contaminants, municipal


Electron beams (e-beams) are an exceptional source of energy that can initiate chemical reactions without the need for catalysts, high temperature or high pressure. The high kinetic energy and penetrating nature of the electrons can provide significant benefits over typical chemical modification methods. E-beam accelerator sales eclipse $2B annually and provide added value to products of more than $500B every year (RW Hamm, Industrial Accelerators and Their Applications, 2012). However, adoption of e-beam technology has been relatively slow because of a general lack of knowledge of the technology. Also, old conventional e-beam accelerators that are still available on the market have limitations in that they are not energy efficient, take up a large foot print and can be complicated to use and maintain. Fermilab, as a national leader in research and development of e-beam technology, is incorporating multiple new technologies into a novel platform e-beam accelerator that is decades more advanced than currently available. Concurrently, we are developing applications, such as water treatment, enabled by this accelerator. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago is helping us examine the possibility of using e-beam tech for multiple issues in the water and biosolids treatment process.