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Grantee Research Project Results

Retrofit Air Pollution Control Filter for Restaurant Underfired Charbroilers

EPA Contract Number: EPD09026
Title: Retrofit Air Pollution Control Filter for Restaurant Underfired Charbroilers
Investigators: Wright, Steve R.
Small Business: Innova Tech, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: February 1, 2009 through July 31, 2009
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2009)
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Each day about 700,000 U.S. food service operations/restaurants emit more than 285 tons of particulate matter (PM) and more than 41 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a significant source of environmental air pollution that can adversely impact health. An estimated 321,000 U.S. underfired charbroilers are responsible for 94% of current restaurant emissions, with approximate costs for conventional emission control technologies > $15/ton of PM/VOC reduced. The large underfired charbroiler installed base requires a retrofit implementation approach to new emission control technology for fine particle (PM2.5) air quality compliance. Current conventional technologies are either too capital intensive to install, too costly to operate/maintain, or have inefficient overall filtration performance, allowing significantly more than the current emissions standards.

Innova Tech proposed to develop a new cost-effective emissions control system, two-thirds less energy intensive than conventional alternatives, that integrates a novel self-cleaning inertial disk filter (commercialized as a metalworking oil mist eliminator) with a proprietary water mist evaporative cooler for VOC condensation and a continuous grease removal system for long-term unattended operation. The rotary disk filter has previously demonstrated mass removal efficiencies > 99% for aerosol particles > 1m at high particle concentrations. The results of the proposed project would provide technological proof-of-concept to restaurateurs and environmental professionals for subsequent device commercialization. Because aerosol grease emissions from one underfired charboiler are estimated to be 2.5 MT/year, national technology implementation of a device achieving nominally 705 reduction in grease emissions has potential pollution reduction capabilities of 483,105 MT/year, which would significantly reduce smog in major urban areas. Anticipated benefits are: compactness, ease of maintenance/service, enhanced removal efficiencies, increased environmental compliance, enhanced worker/customer safety, reduced operational costs, elimination of contaminated media disposal in landfills, and longer service life.

Project technical objectives are to: (1) fabricate a 500CFM prototype, (2) demonstrate prefilter grease vapor condensation, (3) show PM collection/clean-in-place with no significant buildup of grease over time, (4) determine nominal prototype operating parameters, (5) achieve greater than or equal to 70% reduction in PM grease emissions, and (6) compare/contrast prototype filtration performance/economics with conventional technologies. Potential U.S. commercial device sales for underfired charbroiler restaurant grease emission control is > $2B. The technology also can be adapted to improve emission compliance of industrial process gas streams: agriculture (pesticides), power generation, transportation, construction/mining, petrochemicals, etc. Economies will be gained in long-term sustainable process efficiencies, reduced operation/maintenance/disposal costs, decreased filter cleaning/replacement down time, enhanced worker (OSHA/NIOSH) safety, environmental friendliness, and greater compliance with EPA PM2.5 emission requirements.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, particulate matter, PM, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, air pollution, underfired charbroiler, restaurant emissions, emissions control, PM2.5, air quality, cost-effective, filter, water mist, evaporative cooler, grease removal, aerosol particles, aerosol grease emissions, proof-of-concept, smog, environmental compliance, contaminated media disposal, compact, industrial process gas streams, pesticides, power generation, transportation, construction, mining, petrochemicals, worker safety, reduced costs,

Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report

SBIR Phase II:

Retrofit Air Pollution Control Filter for Restaurant Underfired Charbroilers  | Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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