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Connecticut Company Wins EPA Funding for Innovative Air Filter

Release Date: 07/28/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – A Connecticut company is one of five New England business to receive $100,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop technologies that will help the environment and public health. Precision Combustion of New Haven, Conn. received $99,897 to develop new air filters that will save money and improve indoor air quality in industrial and commercial buildings, and potentially in homes.

Precision was among 21 small businesses in 14 states to receive a total of $2 million from EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program to advance innovative products and research. Each year, EPA provides funds small businesses who compete in a two-phase process. In the first phase, small businesses can receive up to $100,000 for “proof of concept” of their technology. Those who are chosen can apply to receive up to $300,000 to develop and commercialize their technology in the second phase.

“This money gives small companies the ability to take their ideas and technology from the laboratory into the market place,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Companies like Precision are helping create a stronger economy for New England at the same time they protect our health and our environment.”

Precision Combustion is developing air filter technology that will remove gaseous pollutants from the air. This technology can be tailored to capture a variety of pollutants. Originally developed for spacecrafts and space stations, the technology uses less power and is lighter than similar existing technologies, such as pellets and monoliths. The system will offer reliably high air quality at a lower cost than is possible with existing disposable filter-based systems. The prototype being developed in the first phase will show that it can capture and release VOCs. The target markets for these units are buildings where high air quality is a critical concern, filter change-outs are limited and existing systems are too large or consume too much energy.

Many of the recipient companies use EPA funding to bring their designs to reality, expand business, and create products that help protect human health and the environment. Companies that previously won these contracts include Faraday Technology Inc., which developed a non-carcinogenic chrome plating process, and Cambrian Innovation of Boston, which created the EcoVolt system that treats wastewater and generates energy in the process. Faraday Technology is planning to open a new alpha-scale facility in Clayton, Ohio, using EPA’s funding to commercialize its technology as it partners with Boeing and attempts to replace millions of pounds of hexavalent chromium, a cancer causing chemical in use in heavy duty machinery. Cambrian Innovation’s EcoVolt system is being tested and used by several wineries and breweries including Lagunitas, enabling it to produce methane to power and heat operations while treating wastewater on site.

The solicitation for the next round of SBIR Phase I awards will open this month.

More information about EPA’s SBIR Program: www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir

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