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EPA awards contract to Lansing, Mich. company to develop innovative technology, cut air pollution

09/19/2017
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

CHICAGO (Sept. 19, 2017) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $100,000 to Metna Co., based in Lansing, Mich., for the development of zero-emission reconstituted wood panels for building interiors. Metna will replace the organic resins used in its manufacturing process with inorganic polymer binders to cut air emissions of volatile organic compounds.

“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said Administrator Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”

Reconstituted wood panels account for an estimated $20 billion in annual sales in the United States. The use of inorganic polymers is expected to provide economic and sustainability advantages, and to enhance building safety and longevity.

Metna’s award is one of 15 totaling $1.6 million from the Small Business Innovation Research program which funds companies that develop technologies to help protect human health and the environment. The companies compete for a Phase I award of $100,000 and are then eligible to compete for a Phase II award of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology. EPA is one of 11 federal agencies participating in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote technical innovation.

"Indoor air quality is vital to the health and wellbeing of the United States and the world population,” said Metna CEO Anagi Balachandra. “Development of zero-emission inorganic binders as replacement for organic binders used in reconstituted wood building products eliminates the release of volatile organic compounds to the indoor environment of buildings. Inorganic binders also promise to enhance the moisture resistance, longevity and fire resistance of reconstituted wood products."

For more information, go to www.epa.gov/sbir