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Wheat Ridge, Colo. firm receives $345K for hydrogen peroxide production technology

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

TDA Research micro-reactor will advance decontamination capabilities, reduce storage and transport risks

(Denver, Colorado – May 12, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $345,000 to TDA Research, Inc. of Wheat Ridge, Colo. to build and test a prototype micro-reactor for hydrogen peroxide synthesis. The new technology will allow for the on-site production of liquid hydrogen peroxide, making it easier for response authorities to create hydrogen peroxide vapor to clean contaminated buildings and interior spaces.

“TDA Research is a Colorado business that is 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 types of small 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 help from the SBIR grant, TDA Research will build and test a prototype micro-reactor unit for hydrogen peroxide synthesis. Hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) is an effective and well-studied decontaminant for buildings, vehicles and interior spaces that contain hazardous chemical or biological materials. Unfortunately, the current technology for generating HPV requires a liquid form of hydrogen peroxide as a precursor, which is dangerous, difficult to transport, and is classified by the Department of Transportation as a hazardous material. TDA Research is developing a compact, portable system that will generate liquid H2O2 on-site, eliminating all problems related to transport and storage. The system will only require water, air and electricity and will not generate hazardous by-products.

The potential benefits of this micro-reactor unit extend well beyond homeland security and emergency response applications. H2O2 is a strong, nonpolluting oxidizing agent, with broad applications in pulp/paper bleaching, water/waste and effluent treatment, chemical synthesis, textile bleaching, mining/metallurgy, electronics, and propulsion. The technologies and knowledge developed through this project will also help provide cost-effective H2O2 to the U.S. chemical and manufacturing industries.

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research 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