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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Announces College Station and San Antonio, Texas, Companies Will Receive Funding to Develop Environmental Technologies

Funds are part of $3 million awarded to small businesses nationwide

06/04/2020
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (June 4, 2020) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced companies in College Station and San Antonio, Texas, are among nine small businesses awarded $3 million to further develop and commercialize technologies to protect the environment. The funded technologies are focused on clean and safe water, air quality monitoring, land revitalization, sustainable materials management, and safer chemicals.

Both companies will use the grant to fund projects related to addressing water contamination from chemicals known as PFAS. framergy, Inc., in College Station, Texas, will use the grant to develop a novel water treatment technology to break down and mineralize PFAS. Polykala Technologies, LLC, in San Antonio, Texas, will develop ‘smart’ polymer nanofiber mats for selective and efficient removal of PFAS from wastewater.

"We must meet our country’s most pressing environmental concerns with innovative solutions," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "The funding provided by EPA will allow these small businesses to pursue solutions to environmental challenges, including removing PFAS from water and soil and monitoring air quality during wildfires."

“Small businesses can provide solutions to our biggest environmental problems, as framergy and Polykala Technologies showed with their previous EPA grants,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Their teams are applying innovative technologies to the complex issue of PFAS pollution, and EPA is proud to continue supporting these efforts.”

"During Phase II, framergy will scale its technology where the company showed that it could completely breakdown PFAS into non-harmful substances, through the use of metal organic frameworks and ultraviolet light," said framergy, Inc. COO Ray Ozdemir.

“The EPA SBIR Phase II support will bring Polykala Technologies LLC’s “PFAS Shield”™ product to the market much sooner,” said Polykala Technologies CEO Mark Feng, PhD.

The nine small businesses are receiving Phase II funding of up to $400,000 from EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Each company was previously awarded a Phase I contract of $100,000 to develop innovative environmental technologies, and are now receiving a Phase II award to further advance and commercialize the technology. In addition to framergy Inc. and Polykala Technologies, this year’s SBIR Phase II recipients include:

  • Faraday Technology, Inc., Englewood, Ohio, to develop electrochemical extraction and remediation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in soils and to develop electrochemical pretreatment of PFAS-contaminated wastewater and landfill leachate streams.
  • Intellisense Systems, Inc., Torrance, Calif., to develop a portable, easy-to-use air quality monitoring device to measure and track wildland fire pollutants.
  • KWJ Engineering Incorporated, Newark, Calif., to assemble and field-test a sensor package that monitors air quality and pollution from wildland fires.
  • microAeth Corporation dba AethLabs, San Francisco, Calif., to develop an integrated black carbon and carbon dioxide sensor platform for real-time identification and analysis of emissions from wildland fires.
  • Sporian Microsystems, Inc., Lafayette, Colo., to develop a low-cost system to identify harmful components in construction and demolition materials.
  • TDA Research, Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colo., to develop a non-toxic paint stripper that is methylene chloride-free.
  • 2WiTech, LLC, San Diego, Calif., to develop a low-cost portable sensing technology for detecting trace amounts of PFOA and PFOS in water.

EPA’s SBIR funding promotes local economies by empowering small businesses across the country to create jobs while developing novel environmental technologies. Phase II funding is specifically aimed at supporting these companies to bring their technologies to the marketplace. Since 1982, EPA’s SBIR program has provided over $189 million to 635 small businesses to develop technologies to solve the most pressing environmental problems. Approximately 29% of funded projects reported a growth in sales that exceeded five times the initial EPA funding.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, a competitive award-based program that supports small businesses to explore technological solutions with the ultimate goal of successful commercialization of those innovations. This program stimulates the economy while meeting the country’s research and development needs.

For more information on EPA's SBIR Phase II recipients, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/665/records_per_page/ALL

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program: https://www.epa.gov/sbir

Learn more about the Federal SBIR Program: www.SBIR.gov

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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central  

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