Encinitas firm CycloPure reports advance in water decontamination

Adsorbent targets compounds in drinking water


Drinking water. (Photo by Yucel Tellici, Freeimages)

North Coast Current

Encinitas-based firm CycloPure Inc. recently announced a significant advancement in its technology to remove manmade chemicals from contaminated water.

DEXSORB+, part of the company’s line of DEXSORB adsorbents, uses a new process to rapidly remove perfluorinated compounds, knowns as PFAS, from contaminated water supplies. The result is a several-fold improvement in the removal and uptake of PFAS compounds, the company reported in a news release Feb. 28.

Of several PFAS classifications, PFOA and PFOS are persistent in the environment and human body, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The result is that the chemicals can accumulate in the body over time, and there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to negative health effects.

“Little has changed in the science of adsorbents for decades,” Will Dichtel, CycloPure’s chief science officer and a MacArthur Fellow, said in the company’s announcement. “It is exciting to see this technology, which uses corn-based cyclodextrin, offer the potential of life-saving water treatment.”

According to the EPA, PFAS can be found in food tainted through packaging, soil or water; commercial household products such as nonstick surfaces and water-repellent fabrics; workplace facilities and industries such as chrome plating, electronics manufacturing and oil recovery; drinking water, most often localized and associated with facilities such as manufacturers, landfills, wastewater treatment plants and firefighter training facilities; and fish, other animals and humans in which the chemical has built up over time.

Although many PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the U.S., according to the EPA, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the U.S. in consumer goods.

PFAS-contaminated drinking water in communities is an increasing national concern, CycloPure and the EPA stated. The EPA recently released a PFAS Action Plan, which follows a June 2018 Centers for Disease Control report tracking the health hazards associated with PFAS exposure from drinking water at low concentrations.

“Safe drinking water is not an option,” CycloPure CEO Frank Cassou said in the company’s announcement. “Water supplies need to promote health not illness. We are working to make eco-friendly DEXSORB available for use in multiple form factors for home use, portable water bottles, and municipal drinking water treatment. We are targeting launch of our first DEXSORB+ product later this year.”

Materials science company CycloPure was founded in 2016 and has its corporate office in Encinitas.

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