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Commercialization of Recycling and Remediation Technologies Contracts Awarded

Release Date: 08/04/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-7819 /

(08/04/04) To encourage companies to recycle materials and remediate wastes, EPA awarded $700,000 to three companies to develop more cost-effective recycling and clean-up technologies through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Twelve federal agencies participate in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal Research and Development. SBIR businesses must have less than 500 employees and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens. National Recovery Technologies, Inc. of Nashville, Tenn. will develop a prototype electronic-waste (e-waste) plastic sorting system for recovery and recycling of plastics from the computer industry. 13 billion pounds of e-waste plastics from computers alone are estimated to be produced in the next decade. The new technology will sort plastics by structure (polymer type), which allows the recycled materials to be reused in high-value, profitable applications. OnMaterials, Inc. of San Diego, Calif. will continue development of high surface-area iron powder to detoxify ground water contaminated with halogenated hydrocarbons, chemicals primarily used in fire extinguishers and refrigerants. Lower amounts of the new decontamination powder will be needed to treat contaminated ground water, thus reducing clean-up costs substantially. Little Bear Laboratories, Inc. of Golden, Colo. will develop methods to reduce acid drainage at mining sites. A significant environmental problem for the mining industry, uncontrolled oxidation of sulfide minerals in mine wastes causes acid rock drainage that contaminates receiving waters. The new methodology uses a chemical coating that selectively inhibits the action of acid-forming microbes. The SBIR program spawns commercial ventures that improve our environment, create jobs, and increase productivity and economic growth. For more information, contact James Gallup at or visit: