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SBIR Phase I: Anti-Fouling and Anti-Scaling Slippery Surface Coating for Cleaning and Sanitation Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1843624
Agency Tracking Number: 1843624
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-07-31
Small Business Information
DUNS: 081231910
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Birgitt Boschitsch
 (609) 902-2677
Business Contact
 Birgitt Boschitsch
Phone: (609) 902-2677
Research Institution
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will be the development of an easy-to-apply anti-fouling, liquid- and sludge-repellent coating aimed to reduce the water footprint, required cleaning frequency, and need for aggressive cleaning chemicals to maintain bathroom fixtures. Advanced ecofriendly technologies that enhance cleaning efficiency are highly sought after in janitorial services for large institutions and homeowners alike. Specifically, the household cleaners market size was valued at $5.79 billion in 2016 in United States, of which ~20% is toilet bowl cleaners that aim to remove bacteria and hard-water stains. From a societal perspective, we estimate that about 6.1 billion gallons of water is flushed down the toilet nationally each day - that is 2.2 trillion gal of water each year in the United States alone. Incorporation of this coating into bathroom fixtures, can significantly reduce the water footprint of bathroom fixtures. Viable low-flow or no-flow toilets may also help help address the open defecation problem affecting over 1 billion people globally. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop and investigate a new class of viscoelastic-repellent surface coatings with anti-bacterial and anti-scaling functions for cleaning and sanitation industries. Surface coatings that can resist bacteria and mineral fouling while maintaining both liquid and viscoelastic solid repellency are rare. The proposed project will investigate and quantify the coating design parameters required to significantly prevent the attachment of bacteria and mineral deposits, while remaining durable against mechanical abrasions under realistic operating conditions. This SBIR Phase I project will demonstrate that a sprayable surface coating not only can repel both liquids and viscoelastic solids, but can also resist fouling from bacteria and hard water stains without the use of aggressive chemical cleaners or excessive amounts of water. The best coating parameters identified in Phase I project will be considered for pilot tests in Phase II. The development of such a robust, non-fouling coating will offer significant reduction in the use of cleaning chemicals, flush water, and cleaning time, which has the potential to reduce costs associated with sanitation facilities maintenance. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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