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EPA to fund small businesses for waste and recycling technology

The money will go toward commercializing waste and recycling initiatives, such as environmental monitoring and ocean plastic cleanup.

January 7, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $3,599,571 in funding for nine small businesses to develop technologies to protect the environment and public health. Four of the recipients named are working on technologies focused on issues such as per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) destruction, ethylene oxide monitoring and ocean plastics cleanup.

According to a news release from the EPA, the businesses are receiving Phase II funding of up to $400,000 from the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The companies were previously awarded Phase I contracts of $100,000 to develop environmental technologies and are now receiving Phase II awards to further advance and commercialize the technology. 

“I commend our nation’s small businesses for being at the forefront of addressing these environmental problems,” says Wayne Cascio, acting principal deputy assistant administrator in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This funding will allow these small businesses to take the next steps in developing their technologies and bringing them to the marketplace.”

This year’s SBIR Phase II recipients receiving funding for waste and recycling initiatives include:

  • Aquagga Inc., based in Tacoma, Washington, for a hydrothermal alkaline treatment process for destroying PFAS in contaminated groundwater;
  • Nikira Labs, based in Mountain View, California, for a sensitive, real-time and highly selective ethylene oxide analyzer for environmental monitoring;
  • OLIN, based in Philadelphia, for a process that repurposes waste-stream glass into soil suitable for horticultural and green infrastructure projects; and
  • PKS Consulting Inc., based in Anchorage, Alaska, for a mobile plastic ocean waste recycler that produces recycled plastic lumber products from locally collected plastic ocean waste.

The remaining five recipients were awarded money for wastewater applications, disinfectant coatings and alternative construction materials.