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Grants to Develop Green Technology Go to 3 New England Companies

Release Date: 02/27/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 27, 2009) – Three New England-based companies will share nearly $210,000 from EPA for the research and development of green technology.

The companies are Active Spectrum, Inc. of Amherst, N.H., Fuss & O’Neill of Manchester, Conn. and Ion Signature Technology, Inc. of North Smithfield, R.I. The grants were issued under EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Active Spectrum, Inc. has been awarded $69,807 to develop its proposed sensor for monitoring of particulate emissions in diesel exhaust gases. This would be a new, low-cost soot sensor for on-board measurement of soot emissions in diesel exhaust gases. The proposed technology is differentiated from existing methods because of its exceptional sensitivity, high specificity to carbon particulates, and strength against deterioration by accumulated soot. Potential commercial applications of the real-time sensor include diesel emissions reductions by the control of the engine timing in response to sensor readings. Having active control of the engine timing to reduce soot will create a new or additional technique to meet emissions standards for particulate matter beyond conventional approaches using diesel particulates filters. Industrial applications include real-time monitoring of particulate emissions from boilers, power plants, and marine diesel engines.

Fuss & O’Neill will receive $70,000 for the development of electricity generation from anaerobic wastewater treatment in microbial fuel fells. New research with Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology has demonstrated an ability to extract chemical energy contained in wastewater and convert it to electrical power. Chemical energy extracted from wastewater carbohydrates has the potential, in theory, to convert wastewater treatment plants from huge power users to sources of electrical power. This effort is proposed to bring to market MFC technology which could have a radically positive effect on a huge energy-consuming industry in the U.S. It also achieves three of EPA’s goals for wastewater facilities: reducing energy requirements, better managing energy use, and the cost-effective production and recover of green power. This technology has the potential to generate sufficient power to operate a host treatment facility without adding or requiring additional energy – in short, it would have the potential to achieve environmental goals in an energy self-sufficient manner.

Ion Signature Technology will receive $69,989for the development of an In Situ thermal extraction detection system (TEDS) for rapid, accurate, quantitative analysis of environmental pollutants in the subsurface. The goal of this technology is to provide data to better manage pollution site investigations and cleanup. TEDS would create a collection and analysis system that retrieves soil-bound pollutants as well as soluble and non soluble contaminants from groundwater. When the system is commercialized, it will “sniff” for the presence of pollutants; identify the pollutant, its location and quantity. This process will create conceptual models that depict the location and rate of movement of the pollution. The end result of this process also reduces the regular costs of pollution remediation.

Approximately 25 million small businesses in the United States employ more than 50 percent of the American workforce and develop most of the country's new technologies. SBIR was established to ensure that new technologies are developed to solve priority environmental problems, and is just one example of EPA's commitment to achieving real world environmental results through the use of innovative technology.

Since its inception in 1982, EPA’s SBIR program has helped fund more than 600 small businesses through its two-phased approach. Phase I awards are used to investigate the scientific merit and technical feasibility of a proposed concept. If the results of this phase are successful, businesses can submit proposals for Phase II contracts, which can reach amounts up to $345,000. These three New England companies are receiving grant money for Phase I research.

More information:

- EPA’s
Small Business Innovation Research program (

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