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Environmentally Friendly Borate-Based Wood Preservative

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Liquid Lignin Company
PO Box 105 Clemson, SC 29633-0105
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Environmentally Friendly Borate-Based Wood Preservative
Agency: EPA
Contract: EP-D-13-033
Award Amount: $80,000.00


This natural organic retention project proposes using lignin from emerging biorefineries to allow borates to be used as wood preservatives for exterior applications exposed to rain. Enhancing retention of environmentally-friendly borates has been the“holy grail” of the industry for decades. We believe this team and technical approach are very well suited for this challenge because: • The team has extraordinary experience with topic the PI has four decades of experience in the wood-treating industry and the technical team has insights form a similar project 5-10 years ago; • The lignins that will be evaluated will be available for a number of lignin manufacturing facilities, each making up to 50,000 tons/year, that are scheduled to start up in the near future. The first such facility will start up next year (2012), initiating an extensive supply of inexpensive lignin; • The team will use unigue lignin pilot facilities to generate various molecular-weight fractions of lignin and evaluate their effectiveness; this pilot system is owned by Liquid Lignin Company, which is commercializing SLRP™ lignin technology funded bya DOR grant; • The team has an extensive network to tap emerging sources of lignin from biorefinery start-ups nationwide; • If this Phase I is successful, and environmentally-friendly wood treatment system could be an order of magnitude less costly than the high-copper-level systems used today;• It this Phase I is successful, this team has the know-how and contacts within the industry to accelerate commercialization of the new wood-treatment systems §This Phase I project will assess those new lignin sources for their efficacy, while simultaneously defining the characteristics of lignin(molecular weight, functional group distributions) that performs best in this screening tests first to determine the strongest control variables, the generating response curves dependent on the stronger variables. Definitive cost estimates of the more promising systems will be completed tin the latter step of Phase I, in addition to a plan for going forward in Phase II.

Principal Investigator:

Craig McIntyre

Business Contact:

John C. Blackburn
Small Business Information at Submission:

Liquid Lignin Company
PO Box 105 Clemson, SC 29633-0105

EIN/Tax ID: 421546263
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No