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Altair International Inc., d/b/a Altair Nanotechnologies, has entered into an agreement with the University of Nevada-Reno to prepare advanced drinking water purification materials. These materials will be made using Altair's patented nanoparticle technology in combination with university patents for removal of arsenic and selenium from drinking water. The demand for methods for removal of arsenic and other heavy metals has been significantly increased because of recent Bush administration and Environmental Protection Agency initiatives that greatly reduced the allowable arsenic content of drinking water.
Altair has filed patents for its technology to make durable porous crystalline catalyst support structures from titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2) and also has filed for patents to incorporate additives on the surface of such materials with chemical modifiers. The university has obtained patents on the use of lanthanum compounds for removing arsenic from drinking water. Combining the two technologies is expected to provide a high surface area of reactive material on a chemically and mechanically stable substrate that also allows high rates of water flow and water purification.
"Arsenic content in drinking water is a significant problem worldwide and in most of the western United States, particularly in many Nevada communities," said Dr. Richard A. Bjur, director of the University of Nevada's Office of Technology Liaison. "One of the objectives of the university is to bring technologies to commercialization, especially if the technology will help address a Nevada problem. We are pleased to work with Altair in this capacity."
"The initial work done by our environmental applications group is providing promising results." commented Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, president of Altair Nanotechnologies. "Success can translate to commercialization to meet the new, more stringent, Federal requirements. The Altair laboratories and production facilities are located in Reno, Nevada, and we are pleased to note that Altair has had a long-term successful relationship with the University of Nevada."