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Liquid Lignin, LLC in Greenville, SC awarded $80,000 for Environmentally Friendly Borate-Based Wood

Release Date: 06/13/2013
Contact Information: William McBride, 404-562-8378 (direct), 404-562-8400 (main),

Atlanta – Liquid Lignin, LLC has been awarded $80,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop Environmentally Friendly Borate-Based Wood.

This natural organic retention project proposes using lignin from emerging biorefineries to allow borates to be used as wood preservatives for exterior applications exposed to rain. Enhancing the retention of environmentally friendly borates has been the “holy grail” of the industry for decades. This Phase I project will assess those new lignin sources for their efficacy, while simultaneously defining the characteristics of lignin (molecular weight, functional group distributions) that perform best in the screening tests. This will determine the strongest control variables, and then generate response curves dependent on the stronger variables. Definitive cost estimates of the more promising systems will be completed in the latter step of Phase I, in addition to a plan for going forward in Phase II.

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds innovative research resulting in new commercial products, processes and services that protect the environment, benefit the public, and promote the growth of small businesses. This year’s projects focus on drinking water, wastewater, manufacturing, green building, waste monitoring and management, air quality, sustainable use of biomass and homeland security.

Nationally, SBIR awarded more than $2 million to 25 small businesses nationwide to develop new environmental technologies that will help protect people’s health and the environment. Each of the 25 companies will receive an SBIR Phase I contract of up to $80,000 to further develop their technology over the next six months. Once the project has been demonstrated to be commercially viable, then companies are eligible to compete for a Phase II award of up to $300,000 to commercialize their technology. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized for-profit U.S. business, and have fewer than 500 employees.

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