Smart Sponge

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What is it?

Smart Sponge is a polymer technology produced by AbTech Industries. According to their website, Smart Sponge Heavy Metals (HM) “uses renewable resource based metal nanocomposites extruded into an adsorptive sponge media. The media will bind with phosphorus and heavy metals resulting in removal rates as high as 98%”.[1]

How is it being used?

No projects have been found in Ontario to date.

Benefits

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University in partnership with the Louisiana Transportation Research Center did an investigation of the contaminant removal efficiency of different materials to reduce the discharge of various pollutants from linear transportation systems. Stormwater treatment experiments were conducted using three laboratory columns filled with different combinations of filter medium layers, and the optimum filter medium combination was found to be a mixture of Smart Sponge and Hydro CX2 (a type of fibre mulcha top dressing over vegetation beds that provides suppresses weeds and helps retain soil moisture in bioretention cells, stormwater planters and dry swales.) in the top layer, with other layers of zerolite, sand, sawdust, and gravel. Results of the laboratory experiments indicate that this layer combination is able to remove 90% of total phosphorus (as well as a majority of the total suspended solids, fecal coliform bacteria and heavy metals).[2] The Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure tests have shown that Smart Sponge is a non-leaching product. This means that after its lifespan (1-3 years), it can be removed as solid waste and disposed of in waste-to-energy facilities, cement kilns, or landfills. [1]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Abtech Industries. Smart Sponge Heavy Metals (HM). https://www.abtechindustries.com/smart-sponge-hm. Accessed November 2, 2017.
  2. Deng, Z. First Flush Reactor for Stormwater Treatment for Elevated Linear Transportation Projects. Louisiana State University and Louisiana Transportation Research Center. 2009. Accessed November 2, 2017: http://www.ltrc.lsu.edu/pdf/2010/08_3tire.pdf