Development of Activated Swelling Organosilica-Metal Composites Filter Media in Bioretention Systems for Enhanced Remediation of Stormwater Runoff
Award last edited on: 12/28/2023

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Hanbae Yang

Company Information

ABSMaterials Inc (AKA: AMC~Absorbent Materials Company LLC~ABS Materials Inc)

1909 Old Mansfield Road
Wooster, OH 44691
   (330) 234-7999
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 07
County: Wayne

Phase I

Contract Number: 1113260
Start Date: 7/1/2011    Completed: 12/31/2011
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop bio-retention soils for the remediation of storm water runoff and common pollutants using engineered glass materials. Storm water runoff is a major component of non-point source pollution. The presence of excessive nutrients, metals, hydrocarbons, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals in surface, ground and drinking water is of particular concern due to their persistence and toxicity. Controlling runoff pollutants will be accomplished using engineered glass (Osorb)-metal composites mixed into bio-retention systems. Osorb physically absorbs a wide variety of volatile organic pollutants from water. Osorb will chemically remediate pollutants with embedded particles of catalytic metals. Breakdown byproducts of pollutants can be biologically mineralized in bio-retention systems or consumed as foods by the biotic community. It is expected that Osorb-metal composites amended soils will have significantly improved removal efficiency of multiple runoff pollutants without compromising hydraulic performance of the systems. The broader/commercial impacts of this research include: Substantial reduction of local toxic runoffs, protection from flooding and property damage by improving plant health and water-retainment of soils, improvement of aquatic and human health, and facilitation of sustainable water reuse. It is estimated by US EPA, runoff pollutants result in a multitude of economic losses in the US annually including; $30 million + annual direct losses for fishing industries, $2 billion + annual losses for beach tourism due to toxic closures and $17 million+ extra treatment costs in drinking water treatment plants. The state and federal governments are mandating local storm water programs to control storm water pollution and the cost of storm water runoff treatment is expected to significantly increase with a stricter regulatory climate. Developing cost-effective and effective storm water best management practice (BMP) would substantially reduce negative effects of runoff pollutants on human and aquatic health. The City of Seattle recently released a 2010 study which estimated the economic impact of uncontrolled storm-water runoffs at $113M. These costs combined the demonstrated losses to wildlife, human access to water resources, added costs of water treatment and 3 documented additional costs in human health care. The City of Cleveland and the local area watersheds have released a preliminary report reaching similar per-capita costs of pollutants in runoff waters

Phase II

Contract Number: 1230147
Start Date: 8/15/2012    Completed: 7/31/2016
Phase II year
(last award dollars: 2014)
Phase II Amount

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop innovative Osorb bioretention systems for enhanced remediation of stormwater quality. PI, Dr. Hanbae Yang, is using novel engineered glass-metal hybrid materials developed by ABSMaterials, Inc. of Wooster, Ohio to remediate environmental pollutants. Runoff control is an immediate and growing concern in the US. Stormwater often laden with nutrients, hydrocarbons, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals, damaging surface water and carrying persistent chemicals impacting humans and ecosystems. Dr. Yang's innovations for controlling runoff pollutants using engineered glass (Osorb)-metal composites mixed into bioretention systems have demonstrated effectiveness on atrazine, estradiol, endocrine disruptors, BTEX, and nutrients. The Osorb-metal composites combine two advanced remediation materials: (1) a high-capacity organosilica sorbent, Osorb, and (2) reactive embedded metals. The composite materials absorb pollutants by removing them from the water and degrade the pollutants within the glass. The key technology developments to be achieved in Phase II include (1) formula optimization field testing with clients, (2) formulation performance improvements, and (3) development of commercial and modular bioretention packages. Compared to older bioretention systems, it is expected some of these systems will see orders-of-magnitude improvement in effective stormwater pollutant remediation and set new standards for best management practice. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project conducted by Dr. Yang and ABSMaterials will include: (1) providing an entirely new tool for resolving combined sewer overflow challenges with green infrastructure for dozens of cities, (2) substantial reduction of environmental pollution with lower treatment cost for contaminated stormwater, (3) improvement of aquatic and human health, and (4) facilitation of green stormwater reuse. The EPA and state governments are mandating many stormwater programs control non-point-source/CSO pollution. The tools for runoff treatment are often lacking to meet stricter regulations. Developing economical and effective Osorb-based stormwater solutions will substantially reduce negative effects of runoff pollutants on human and aquatic health. Seattle estimates economic impact of uncontrolled stormwater runoff at $113M and plans to build 12,000 bioretention systems to reduce urban runoff by 16,000,000 gallons annually. Other cities, including Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, are developing similar green infrastructure strategies. ABSMaterials is further developing an integrated curriculum for science courses at high schools and colleges and providing internships and training experiences involving advanced materials and water remediation. The company expects to create 6 new full-time positions working directly on the commercial activities during the period of this grant.