Paint Removal From Architectural Surfaces With an Innovative Pulsed Light Source

EPA Contract Number: 68D01041
Title: Paint Removal From Architectural Surfaces With an Innovative Pulsed Light Source
Investigators: Schaefer, Raymond B.
Small Business: Phoenix Science and Technology Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Environmental regulations for air emission and waste disposal have created a need for paint removal methods that are both economically feasible and environmentally acceptable. Furthermore, the paint used on architectural surfaces before 1978 contains lead that should be removed to meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lead concentration standards. Improved paint removal techniques are needed because "acceptable" techniques are inadequate. Media blasting and abrasive techniques, for example, generate a large volume of debris and can damage architectural materials. Chemical strippers are labor intensive, messy, and may be toxic. Also, many stripped surfaces require additional preparation before repainting. Pulses of light, however, remove paint without generating secondary waste, and without damaging the surface, and they leave behind a surface ready for repainting. Paint strippers using flashlamps and lasers are available commercially, but are too expensive and impractical for removing paint from architectural surfaces.

Phoenix Science & Technology, Inc., proposes using an innovative new lamp that has potential as a practical, low-cost alternative to existing techniques. The Phase I objectives are to use the new lamp to strip paint from architectural surfaces, meet HUD cleanliness standards for lead concentration, and demonstrate surface repainting without additional preparation. Phase I includes the design and a cost estimate of a prototype that would be built and tested in Phase II. A manufacturer of detectors for measuring lead concentration in paint will support Phase I and is a potential commercialization partner for a paint stripper using the new lamp.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, hazardous waste, lead, paint removal, engineering, chemistry, EPA, pollution prevention., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, cleaner production, paint removal, Lead Compounds, waste minimization, waste reduction, pulsed light source, hazardous waste, cost benefit, recycling, innovative technology, architectural surfaces, pollution prevention, source reduction, pulsed light sources

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Paint Removal From Architectural Surfaces With an Innovative Pulsed Light Source  | Final Report