Office of Public Affairs
Nov. 7, 2001
CONTACT: Dr. Ronald J. Scrudato, 315-312-2883
ENVIRONMENTAL PATENT PRODUCES FIRST INCOME FOR SUNY OSWEGO
OSWEGO -- The license and procedure are in place for SUNY Oswego to receive income from a patented technology for destroying groundwater contaminants, and the first check has arrived.
Advanced Oxidative Systems, a limited liability corporation in Saratoga Springs, has a licensing agreement with the SUNY Research Foundation to market and apply the electrochemical peroxidation remediation process that was invented in Oswego's Environmental Research Center.
Income from the agreement will come to SUNY Oswego and the co-inventors of the technology, Dr. Ronald J. Scrudato, director of the Environmental Research Center, and Dr. Jeffrey Chiarenzelli, formerly of the center.
The corporation paid an exercise fee of $7,500 on signing the licensing agreement and will also pay 8 percent of gross sales under the agreement, Scrudato said.
A pilot demonstration project in Saratoga Springs convinced the owners of the new corporation of the value of the electrochemical peroxidation process, he said. A gasoline-contaminated site within 500 feet of the Saratoga Springs reservoir had been under continuous remediation since 1988 with little results. Using the electrochemical peroxidation process, the contamination dropped below detectable levels within four months, Scrudato said.
The process is particularly effective, he said, in dealing with gasoline additives like MTBE, a gasoline oxidant that has become a serious contaminant across the country.
The researchers spent eight years developing the process, which is based on the principle of Fenton's Reagent. The oxidizing process breaks down groundwater contaminants into their harmless component parts -- carbon dioxide and water.
"It doesn't just trap the contaminant, it destroys it," Scrudato said.
Scrudato and Chiarenzelli received a patent on the technology a year and a half ago. SUNY Oswego will garner 60 percent of the proceeds of licensing the technology, with the remaining 40 percent going to the two inventors.
The patented technology requires removing the contaminated material in order to treat it in a reactor. At the Saratoga Springs site, five million gallons of water were processed in a mobile reactor.
Scrudato and his research team are now working on a similar process that can treat the contaminants in place. "We've filed a patent application for that," he said.
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