Novel high-capacity, thermally stable, filter nanomaterials for multi-pollutant removal

EPA Contract Number: EPD15040
Title: Novel high-capacity, thermally stable, filter nanomaterials for multi-pollutant removal
Investigators: Loebick, Codruta
Small Business: Precision Combustion, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016
Project Amount: $99,828
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air and Climate


Precision Combustion, Inc. proposes to develop functionalized nanocarbons as an improved high capacity, regenerable filter for VOCs and other gaseous contaminants, tailored to the purpose of sorption of a broad array of air contaminants from indoor or industrial sources. The company’s sorbent offers to overcome limitations to air purification inherent to other commercial sorbents, including loss of capacity due to competitive adsorption, inadequate regenerability, inability to handle multiple classes of contaminants, and low volumetric capacity.
In buildings and manufacturing facilities, the indoor air quality relative to gaseous pollutants is primarily maintained by outdoor air ventilation, requiring significant makeup air heating and conditioning, and resulting in variations of actual indoor air quality. A regenerable high-capacity nanostructured air filter could achieve lower and more reliable levels of pollutants, while reducing the requirement for makeup air, lowering energy use, and providing operating and capital cost savings.
Precision Combustion, Inc.’s material will leverage the unique physical and chemical properties of nanostructured carbon sorbents, notably extremely high surface areas and various surface chemical functionalities. The nano-scale physical and chemical structure of the material will permit specific interactions with target air pollutants and so enable high-efficiency removal while allowing for regenerability. Compared to activated charcoal or zeolites, this enhanced material can be developed to contain chemical functionalities that will enable sorption affinity towards a wider range of polar and non-polar pollutants as well as significantly higher capacity, allowing for more compact and effective filtration units. The company builds upon prior expertise in nanocarbon and air cleaning units development. Following the full development of our material, Precision Combustion, Inc. will work with large-scale manufacturers of air filters to integrate our nano-sorbent with current needs for air purification from both small and industrial sources.
During Phase I and Phase II, Precision Combustion, Inc. will explore paths to commercialization, seeking routes to achieve diversified market entry that can lead to market pull for expanding our technology. The company will work to achieve effective integration of our filters into modern building air management systems that also contain effective sensors and controls to be able to maximize the utility of our filters. A key to successful commercialization will be to achieve leveraged market entry, whereby the air management systems the company already supports are able to make fully effective use of its technology’s capabilities, resulting in building air clean-up success stories that will create added demand. Initial entry beachhead targets will be in such application segments as described above, that with success could quickly grow.
As a result, Precision Combustion, Inc.’s primary path will be to reach strategic partnership agreements with one or more major building air cleaning/energy system manufacturers to integrate our technology into their systems and drive market entry. Assuming we have technical success, we believe the combined drive for improved energy management and improved air quality will create strategic interest in our technology.

Supplemental Keywords:

air and climate, nano-air filters, multi-pollutant removal, nanomaterials, nanocarbons

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report