Water-purification technology developed at Auburn University has been granted United States Environmental Protection Agency registration. Professor Dave Worley, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, developed the technology that Seattle-based HaloSource Inc. is commercializing as “HaloPure Br.” The company, which pays royalties to Auburn through a technology transfer agreement, markets the technology in a disinfecting cartridge to drinking-water-device manufacturers around the world.

“The EPA registration not only will benefit U.S. citizens, but also will help provide safe, clean drinking water to consumers in many other countries,” says Worley. “Once the U.S. EPA grants registration to a new technology, many other countries will adopt the view that it is safe and proven.”

“This technology has the potential for saving lives when there are no inexpensive means available for disinfecting drinking water,” claims Jeff Williams of HaloSource. “Devices using this technology do not require piped water or electricity as HaloPure kills bacteria and viruses on contact.”

“The technology involves attaching biocidal bromine onto porous beads for use in inexpensive disinfecting cartridges that can be incorporated into water purification and filtration devices,” Worley explains. “Bacteria and viruses are killed on contact at the point-of-use. Chlorine also can be used, but bromine is more effective at killing germs.”

To activate the cartridges, brominated water is passed through them to anchor the bromine atoms to the beads. When untreated water contaminated with bacteria, mold or virus cells passes through the cartridge, the cells pick up the bromine atoms which sink into the cells and kill them. The cartridges also can be engineered to ensure the safety of stored water, as well as for control of biofilm and slime formation downstream of the cartridge.