The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $100,000 to Oceanit Laboratories, located in Honolulu, to develop a nontoxic coating for use in water pipeline repair.
The company is one of 15 small businesses nationwide receiving a total of $1.6 million to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment.
“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”
Oceanit Laboratories received the funding to develop a corrosion-resistant, nontoxic coating to protect the interior of aging pipelines. The application process for the coating should allow heavily corroded pipes to be retrofitted and refurbished in place.
“Utilizing Oceanit’s family of EverPel repellent coatings, which can be applied in-situ via in-line pigging to previously worn and in-service pipelines, we are addressing the need for rapid, cost-efficient refurbishment of water transport pipelines without the need for full excavation and replacement,” said Matthew Nakatsuka, senior materials engineer for Oceanit. “We look forward to applying and adapting research and technologies from the energy and defense sectors to addressing this pressing domestic concern, and are excited to work with the EPA in developing new ways to promote public health and infrastructure safety.”
EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding boosts local economies by creating jobs and promoting collaborations among small businesses through product testing and research. The funding also supports technologies aimed at creating cleaner manufacturing materials and better infrastructure in communities.
Companies compete for SBIR Phase I awards of up to $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for Phase II awards of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.