WT professor patents corrosion fighting technology

WT professor patents corrosion fighting technology

Amarillo, TX - A new technology developed right here in the Texas panhandle was patented Tuesday and is expected to change many global industries.

Emily Hunt, a WTAMU engineering professor said she has been working on this research for years. What she's come up with could have an enormous global impact.

Antimicrobial Nano Alloy research has become one of Hunt's most prized accomplishments. With Hunt's research and patented technology, it is said she could potentially solve the unclean water crisis nationally and internationally. Here's how it works.

"The goal was to develop a material working from the nano scale up that would be resistant to bacterial growth," Hunt said. "There's a lot of materials that resist bacterial growth, but because we are constructing this one from the nano scale we can tailor all the properties. So we can make it a certain thickness, a certain hardness, we can apply it to any kind of surface, we can make it a certain color."

The material is made one scale up from an atom, and has the ability to fight and kill organisms before they cause harm.

"We're working on using it in desalination," Hunt said. "So there's a plastic membrane that's used to pull salt out of salt water. And what we can do is integrate this material into that membrane and then pull the salt out of the water, but we are also protecting from biological warfare, we're protecting from harmful bacteria that might be in the water for any other reasons."

It also can be used in the oil and gas industry to prevent pipes from corroding by covering them in a bacteria fighting sealant.

Aggie Venture Partners plans to commercialize hunts research across many other industries as well.

"Dr. Hunt and I,  we've been through the middle east and Qatar," Kelly Jones of AVP said. "We've been to the middle east and talked about water treatment, we've talked about shipping, the oil and gas industry, but also has uses beyond that, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, hospital or health care environments. Any environment that has a bacteria problem where we think we have a partial solution to that problem."

The research provides a cost effective approach to eliminate the use of cleaning solutions and materials. It is currently in the process of receiving an international patent as well.