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Bozeman, Mont. firm receives $345K for carbon dioxide monitoring technology

Release Date: 05/12/2010
Contact Information: Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654

Bridger Photonics’ hand-held sensor will advance CO2 monitoring capabilities

(Denver, Colorado – May 12, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $345,000 to Bridger Photonics, Inc. of Bozeman, Mont. to develop a compact carbon dioxide sensor for on-site monitoring and spatial mapping.

“Bridger Photonics is part of an emerging breed of Montana businesses that are poised to help meet a growing demand for environmental technologies,” said Jim Martin, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “In addition to offering promising solutions to environmental challenges, these businesses represent sources of jobs and revenue that strengthen our communities.”

This grant announcement, awarded under the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, is part of $2.5 million EPA is providing to 11 companies to support work in eight key environmental areas: monitoring and control of air emissions, biofuels, green buildings, drinking water monitoring, hazardous waste monitoring, water infrastructure, homeland security, nanotechnology and innovation in manufacturing. The companies received "proof of concept" awards from EPA last year and will use these additional funds to move their technologies towards commercialization.

“The health and prosperity of our nation is due to the strength and ingenuity of our small businesses,” said Dr. Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. “These grants will help spur innovation from America's small businesses so they can continue driving our economy and powering our environmental successes."

With the recognition of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as a significant contributor to climate change, public and private interests will increasingly need the ability to monitor and track a wide variety of carbon dioxide sources. Current monitoring technologies are limited, and involve on-site scans of possible emissions sources by sampling emitted gases with measurement devices. No technology exists that can measure and pinpoint the location of elevated CO2 concentrations from a distance.

To address this need, Bridger Photonics is developing an inexpensive, compact sensor with high-range resolution for on-site CO2 monitoring and spatial mapping from a distance. The sensor can be used to spatially scan CO2 sequestration or industrial sites for leaks and to provide precise 3D coordinate mappings of emissions sources. The device is based on an innovative technology developed by the company during a Phase I project under the SBIR program. Phase II objectives include designing and testing a preliminary prototype device.

EPA’s SBIR program issues solicitations for research proposals from small science and technology firms. Phase I contracts are used to investigate the scientific merit and technical feasibility of a concept, while Phase II contracts are used to develop and commercialize technologies. Other technologies that are being developed in these awards include using microbial fuel cells to simultaneously clean wastewater and generate electricity, and developing a chromium-free, corrosion-resistant coating that can be used for industrial, automotive and aerospace corrosion protection.

There are approximately 25 million small businesses in the United States today. As the leading source of employment growth, these firms have generated 60-80 percent of net new jobs over the past decade and are responsible for developing most of the country’s new technologies. To be eligible to participate in SBIR, a small business must have fewer than 500 employees, and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens.

More information about award recipients and research projects: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/10awards/

More information on SBIR program: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir