A Catalytic Exhaust Purifying System for Restaurants

EPA Contract Number: EPD05022
Title: A Catalytic Exhaust Purifying System for Restaurants
Investigators: Gosau, Jan-Michael
Small Business: Clear Skies Unlimited, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


There is a need for new technologies to control restaurant emissions. There are more than 870,000 restaurants in the United States. Most of these restaurants have under-fired charbroilers, creating a significant amount of particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have been classified as health and environmental hazards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although some regulations have been passed in California directed at chain-driven charbroilers, further regulations on under-fired charbroilers have not been imposed.

Current devices such as cyclonic air scrubbers and catalytic filters have found little acceptance because of their high initial cost, high annual operating cost, short product life cycles, and poor performance. A recently patented and EPA-verified technology developed by Clear Skies Unlimited, Inc., for removing organics, particulates, and carbon monoxide from wood combustion provides the opportunity for a low-cost, effective solution for the removal of similar species from restaurant emissions. Clear Skies Unlimited plans to combine a filtering and thermal treatment approach using its patented catalytic reticulated ceramic substrates and combustors. The reticulated ceramic substrates will be used as a high-volume, high surface area filtering agent to collect VOCs and PM from the off-gas stream. This will be combined with an automatic filter regeneration system. During the thermal regeneration of the filter, Clear Skies Unlimited’s catalytic combustor will destroy the organics and particulates from the off-gas stream.

It is anticipated that the system will be highly effective in treating restaurant emissions, affordable compared to competing technologies, and easily integrated into rooftop ventilation systems. In addition, the system will require low maintenance and have an environmentally friendly product life cycle creating very little amounts of end-of-life landfill material. The catalytic exhaust purification system for restaurants will have numerous applications in a host of other industries, including composite processing, paint booths, wood-burning kilns, chemical manufacturing, and virtually any type of polluted streamlined emission.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, restaurant emissions, under-fired charbroilers, chain-driven charbroilers, cyclonic air scrubbers, catalytic filters, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, particulates, carbon monoxide, wood combustion, reticulated ceramic substrate, catalytic combustor, catalytic exhaust purification system, EPA, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Waste, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Sustainable Industry/Business, particulate matter, Sustainable Environment, Environmental Chemistry, Chemicals, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Incineration/Combustion, Environmental Engineering, restaurant exhaust purification, air pollutants, air toxics, combustion-related pollutants, air pollution control, carbon monoxide (CO), hazardous emissions, particulate emissions, VOC removal, catalytic reticulated ceramic combustor, airborne particulate matter, combustion emissions, air pollution, emissions control, combustion technology, combustion exhaust gases, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), aersol particles, restaurant emission controls, exhaust purification, ceramic materials

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report