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News Releases from Region 01

Maine Company Awarded $100,000 for Project to Develop "Green" Ceiling Tiles

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EPA Public Affairs

BOSTON - An Orono, Maine business was awarded $100,000 from EPA for work developing green ceiling tiles. Revolution Research, Inc. was one of 13 businesses nationwide receiving a total of $1.3 million for technologies aimed at helping to solve environmental issues.

The funding for Revolution Research, which is part of EPA's Small Business Innovation Research program, will help design the manufacturing process for a bio-based, "green" ceiling tile that is durable, non-hazardous and compostable, with higher insulation properties. 

"This company is among those producing innovative and creative solutions for our country's environmental problems," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Small businesses are important to our efforts to find and create technologies that will help ensure a sustainable future for our country."

"Revolution Research, Inc. is honored to be awarded an EPA SBIR grant to support development of eco-friendly ceiling tiles using forest-based raw materials and nanotechnology," said Nadir Yildrim, president of the company. "This funding will help us bring to market an innovative, alternative construction element with properties superior to available options, while supporting job growth in Northern Maine, where the decline of the pulp and paper industry has severely impacted the economy."

Suspended ceiling tiles have been widely used in construction because they offer flexibility and easy access to utilities. But most of the available tiles absorb water, which leads to sagging, staining, and mold/mildew growth. They also contain potentially hazardous chemicals and release airborne fibers when broken or cut. In the U.S., 10 million square feet of old ceiling tiles are discarded annually, most of them not compostable or recyclable.

Revolution Research, hopes to design the manufacturing process for a bio-based, "green" ceiling tile that is durable, non-hazardous, and compostable and that provides higher insulation properties than now available. This innovative process will use nanocellulose, a widely-available byproduct of the forest products industry as the primary raw material and will develop a process to treat the panels for flame retardancy, water resistance, and mold/mildew resistance using non-hazardous enhancements.

One other New England business awarded a Small Business Innovation Grant. TIAX, LLC in Lexington, Mass. will develop a technology to decontaminate biological material in railway and subway cars with reduced manpower while protecting workers from exposure.

Each contract for the Phase 1 of the Small Business Innovation Research grants provides up to $100,000 to develop green technology. If the first phase is successful, companies are eligible to apply for a Phase II contract of up to $300,000 to further develop and commercialize their technology for the marketplace.

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