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EPA provides research funds to Colorado Small Businesses to develop technologies for wastewater reuse and microplastic identification

Lafayette and Lakewood businesses among 25 awardees nationwide receiving awards to advance products that improve the environment

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DENVER (January 6, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding two Colorado small businesses, Lafayette-based, Sporian Microsystems Inc., and Lakewood-based, J-Tech LLC, $100,000 each to develop promising environmental technologies related to microplastics identification and wastewater reuse. The Colorado businesses are among $2,497,134 EPA is awarding to 25 small businesses nationwide for projects advancing a wide range of technologies, including detecting methane emissions, prolonging the shelf life of foods, reducing food waste, improving recycling, and sampling methods for pollution.

Sporian Microsystems Inc., of Lafayette, Colo., will use $100,000 in EPA research funding to develop a high-speed, low-cost imaging system to identify microplastics in the environment. This system will rapidly and efficiently detect and quantify microplastics in waters and soils and improve monitoring and removal processes for these pollutants. 

J-Tech LLC, of Lakewood, Colo., will use $100,000 in EPA research funding to develop a technology that enables low-cost, chemical-free, and sustainable disinfection of wastewater in septic tanks for non-potable reuse, such as irrigation.  The innovative technology uses microbes and electricity to disinfect septic tank wastewater on-site, eliminating the need for transport and treatment. 

“EPA applauds these Colorado businesses for working to develop innovative technologies that protect people and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We look forward to seeing these projects evolve into products and processes that can be applied to environmental challenges here in our region and across the U.S.”

These awards are part of EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which conducts an annual, two-phase competition for funding. The 25 small businesses below are receiving up to $100,000 in Phase I funding for six months for “proof of concept” of their proposed technology. Companies that complete Phase I can then apply to receive Phase II funding of up to $400,000 to further develop and commercialize their technology.

Additional SBIR Phase I winners and their proposed technologies are below:

  • Beta Analytic (Miami, Fla.) to develop a novel method to trace fugitive sources of methane in atmospheric gas mixtures.
  • Can I Recycle This, Inc. (Athens, Ga.) to develop a circular economy solution that provides real-time, geospatial materials recovery information.
  • Censys Technologies Corporation (Daytona Beach, Fla.) to develop an innovative system for remote sensing of fugitive methane.
  • City of Roses Disposal and Recycling, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) to develop a real-time recycling inventory aggregation and management software for construction and demolition waste.
  • Cleaned and Green, LLC (Indian Springs Village, Ala.) to develop ann enhanced efficiency poultry litter-based fertilizer that is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Aquarius Systems (North Prairie, Wis.) to develop an in-water collection and removal device to capture floating debris.
  • EIC Laboratories, Inc. (Norwood, Mass.) to develop a novel technique for rapid, on-site analysis of water quality.
  • Forever Analytical Services, Inc. (South Bend, Ind.) to develop a rapid, field-deployable water sampling device to measure PFAS.
  • GoodGames (Freeport, Maine) to develop a social networking platform to help build community resilience to disasters, threats, and extreme weather.
  • HJ Science & Technology, Inc. (San Leandro, Calif.) to develop a portable, on-site technology to detect PFAS in complex water environments. 
  • Hydrova Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) to develop a novel process for complete resource recovery and hydrogen peroxide production from secondary aluminum processing waste.
  • Imvela Corp (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to develop a novel, natural ingredient that reduces microbial spoilage and extends shelf life of fresh fruit.
  • Iterant, Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) to develop an online platform for regional plastic packaging reuse systems.
  • Kamilo, Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.) to develop a digital verification system to confirm the percentage of recycled content in products to advance plastic circularity.
  • Mesa Photonics, LLC (Santa Fe, N.M.) to develop a methane monitoring network for continuous measurement of methane emissions.
  • Optimized Thermal Systems, Inc. (Beltsville, Md.) to optimize a machine for improved recovery of a refrigerant with high global warming potential.
  • LeapFrog Design (Bend, Ore.) to develop a modular ecological water treatment system for onsite capture and non-potable reuse from single-family residences.
  • Seacoast Science, Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) to develop a fully automated analyzer to monitor air toxics in indoor spaces.
  • Ourobio (Charlottesville, Va.) to produce sustainable indigoid dyes and bioplastics using byproducts of dairy processing
  • UES, Inc. (Dayton, Ohio) to develop an innovative air toxic monitoring system for neighborhood-level monitoring.
  • VISIMO, LLC (Coraopolis, Pa.) to develop a machine learning toolkit for screening research published outside of commercial or academic publishing to improve systematic reviews for chemical risk assessment.
  • Wisely, Inc. (Wilmington, N.C.) to develop a smart food storage system to reduce household food waste by allowing users to track perishables.
  • Zabble Inc. (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to develop an artificial intelligence-based tagging platform for contamination monitoring audits to improve recycling.

Learn more about the winning companies.

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program.

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Author: Region 08

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