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SBIR Phase II: Biological Treatment of Hydrocarbons in Shipboard Exhaust Gas…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
5805 Departure Drive Raleigh, NC 27616-1859
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase II: Biological Treatment of Hydrocarbons in Shipboard Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1152257
Award Amount: $445,278.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will address new regulations being enacted in the shipping industry requiring Sulfur Oxides (SOx) reduction from engine emissions. Many commercial scrubber systems effectively remove SOx from engine emissions, yet none are designed to remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). EnSolve?s approach is to develop a combined biological and mechanical system that can remove PAHs from the scrubber system waste water. The results of the Phase I study confirmed the biomechanical approach was effective in reducing PAHs at rates exceeding 99%. The broader impacts of this research will be to provide the maritime industry with a cost effective, reliable, and environmentally conscious treatment system for removing toxic substances from the world?s oceans. Ships will be required to either install scrubbing equipment or they will need to switch to more costly low sulfur fuels. A switch to low sulfur fuel would increase current fuel costs by over 88%. A commercial ship owner could realize annual savings of $2 million per vessel in fuel costs using a scrubber system compared with purchasing low sulfur fuel. An estimated 35,000 ships will be impacted by these regulations, yielding a market opportunity for the proposed scrubber water treatment system exceeding $5 billion. Other technologies under development utilize pure physical separation methods that transfer the contaminants from the scrubber water to another medium (i.e., filters) for disposal. Conversely, the proposed biological approach is a regenerative process that would significantly reduce landfill disposal, consumable, labor, and liability costs.

Principal Investigator:

Richard L. Penny

Business Contact:

Richard L. Penny
Small Business Information at Submission:

5805 Departure Drive Raleigh, NC 27616-1859

EIN/Tax ID: 561903255
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No