NEI Corporation and its collaborator, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, were awarded an SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop self-healing, anti-corrosion coatings for aging pipes and other water infrastructure. The grant was awarded to address the growing need to rehabilitate our country's water pipelines, which have deteriorated due to corrosion. The focus of the grant is on metal pipelines.
There is a growing need to use alternate water sources, such as reclaimed and produced waters, for non-potable applications. This is due to the fact that the availability of fresh water sources is becoming constrained, compounded by the increased demand due to population growth. The issue is that the dissolved constituents of alternate water sources make the pipelines more susceptible to corrosion.
The purpose of the proposed R & D program is to develop environmentally benign self-healing anti-corrosion coatings. The self-healing, or damage response, properties of the proposed materials will use only environmentally benign materials. Currently, chromium is used to impart self-healing characteristics, but its toxicity has raised significant health concerns. Chromate coatings were never used in potable water systems and have been phased out in industrial applications. In addition to increasing the service life of existing pipe infrastructure, the anti-corrosion properties of the coatings will enable the transport of water sources that are high in corrosive agents for non-potable applications.
NEI Corporation is collaborating with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, who have significant experience with water distribution and quality issues. NEI and Kennedy/Jenks have concluded a memorandum of understanding which allows the team to commercialize any joint intellectual property created as part of the research program. Commercialization activities will leverage NEI's subsidiary, American Nanomyte (ANM), which is implementing pilot scale production of self-healing, anti-corrosion coatings for military and industrial applications.
"The EPA's SBIR program is very competitive, and we are pleased to have been awarded this research and development grant” says Dr. Ganesh Skandan, CEO of NEI. “Our experience developing self-healing, anti-corrosion coatings and commercializing them through our American Nanomyte subsidiary positions us as a strong candidate to both find and implement solutions that address our country's aging water infrastructure".
NEI Corporation develops, manufactures, and distributes nanoscale materials for a broad range of industrial and government customers around the world. The company’s products incorporate proprietary nanotechnology and advanced Materials Science to create significant performance improvements in manufactured goods. NEI’s products include advanced protective coatings, high performance battery electrode materials, and specialty nanoscale materials for diverse applications. NEI has created a strong foundation in the emerging field of Nanotechnology that has enabled the company to become a leader in selected markets. Established in 1997, the company is based in Somerset, NJ.