WASHINGTON - As part of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $1.6 million in funding for seven small companies to commercialize green technologies that promise to deliver significant results. As one example, Media and Process Technology Inc., Pittsburgh, is developing a ceramic membrane system that recovers both water and energy from boiler flue gas. Industrial boilers account for 35 percent of U.S. industrial energy consumption, says EPA, and if this recovery system is implemented nationally, it’s estimated it would recover 70 billion gallons of water annually and save 500 trillion Btu of energy.

“Small businesses are the engine for the U.S. economy, and these small businesses show that enterprise and financial success can also spell environmental success,” said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “I’m particularly impressed by this year’s projects. Besides boiler water conservation and energy savings, Phase II winners include a more efficient biodiesel production process.”

Since its inception in 1982, EPA’s SBIR program has helped fund more than 600 small businesses through its two-phased approach. Under Phase I, the scientific merit and technical feasibility of the proposed concepts are investigated. EPA awards Phase I contracts of up to $70,000 with a 6 month period of performance. Phase II contracts are given to Phase I businesses whose technologies show the greatest commercialization potential. In Phase II, EPA awards contracts of up to $225,000 and the period of performance is typically 24 months.

For more information on this Phase II boiler project, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/8755/report/0.

For more information on the SBIR program, visit www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir.

Publication date:05/19/2008