Microvi Demonstrates Unprecedented Removal of Hazardous Organic Compounds in Drinking Water through NIH Grant

Studies completed over the past year, funded through a Phase II NIH grant, show unprecedented removal rates of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) and co-contaminants using Microvi’s cometabolism treatment technology. 

TCP creates a significant environmental and health issue primarily due to its historic use in solvents and soil fumigants.  The contaminant has leeched into groundwater and subsequently household drinking water.  Contamination of water resources with TCP has demonstrated an increased risk for cancer along with various illnesses including liver or kidney disease. 

According to the California Water Board, there are over 500 wells in Californiaalone with levels of TCP greater than the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 5 parts per trillion as adopted and enforced by the state in January 2018.  

Microvi’s novel cometabolism treatment technology is built on the MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) platform and is an environmentally friendly water treatment technology for degrading combinations of hazardous organic compounds, including TCP, to below safe regulatory levels.  Microvi’s solution is simple, environmentally friendly, and easy to use.

Initial testing demonstrates that this is the first biological technology that achieves incredibly low levels of 5 parts per trillion of 1,2,3 TCP—the MCL in California.

“This project demonstrates Microvi’s focus on providing biological treatment options for applications where only chemical/physical technologies were thought to be feasible. We are excited about bringing this technology to California and the world.” said Ameen Razavi, Director of Innovation Research at Microvi.

In contrast to conventional physical or chemical technologies such as air stripping and activated carbon, Microvi’s novel technology degrades hazardous organic compounds into harmless byproducts instead of producing a concentrated secondary waste stream. Additionally, it offers significant reductions in energy and maintenance costs compared with chemical or UV oxidation. This new technology offers reliable performance across a range of dynamic operating conditions to achieve simultaneous degradation of hundreds of hazardous organic compounds.

The next stage of the Phase II grant will be to design, construct and optimize a pilot at a site in CA.  The work performed under this grant will continue through 2019. This work has been funded under grant R44ES024670.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

About the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information on NIEHS or environmental health topics, visit www.niehs.nih.gov.

About Microvi
Microvi is a green technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that delivers next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater and renewable chemical industries. Microvi offers commercial technologies around the world to reduce waste, increase productivity and provide disruptive economics across the value chain. Learn more at www.microvi.com.



Karin Kidder, VP of Marketing, Microvi Biotechnologies