U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced on Thursday, May 21, that the Department of Energy (DOE) will award 256 grants totaling $53 million to 211 small businesses in 35 states and the District of Columbia. These awards include 11 in Virginia totaling $2,196,573.

Many small businesses have been extremely impacted by the pandemic. These grants seek to offer support.

“A cornerstone of the American economy, small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs throughout the country,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “Now more than ever, we want to lend support to our country’s small businesses to ensure they are thriving again soon.”

The grants are funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The selections are for Phase I research and development.

Below are the grants for Virginia:

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,896 for Fiberoptic Pressure Sensor for Austere Environments

Advances in commercial pressure sensing technology are needed for higher temperature and pressure, and more corrosive environments. The fiber optic pressure sensing technology being developed by Prime Photonics can fill this market need

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,982 for Removing Ammonia Contamination from Biogas Feedstock

Pancopia is developing a system to remove ammonia contamination from swine waste, permitting the expansion of biogas generation to an estimated 8,000 potential farms.  

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $200,000 for Conversion of Plastic Waste into Economically Viable Filaments and Fibers

Luna Innovations Inc. (Luna) proposes a conversion technology for Ocean Plastic Wastes that uses a nano compatibilizer (an additive), which allows combination of a wide selection of disposed plastics.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $198,473 for Thermal energy storage based on phase change inorganic salt hydrogel composites

The depletion of fossil resources and their negative impact on the environment can be alleviated by the use of sustainable energy sources. In this work, MMI will develop novel composite phase change materials that can be incorporated into building structures to provide thermal management solutions and associated energy savings.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,991 for Machine Learning for Individualized Vehicle Eco-Routing

Vehicle “eco-routing” means that instead of driving the fastest or shortest route between two locations, a driver would choose the most energy-efficient route. This research will lead to machine learning techniques to rapidly enable widespread adoption of vehicle eco-routing and achievement of commensurate, significant, economic and environmental benefits.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $206,493 for Wave-energy Power Generation System for Hybrid Oil & Gas Drill Rigs

C·Power will deliver a preliminary wave energy conversion prototype RigRAY design—validating a commercially viable path to providing clean, renewable electric power to remote offshore oil & gas platforms—resulting in whole or partial replacement of on-board, carbon-based power systems used for powering offshore operations in the blue economy.              

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,699 for Wind Sensing with Digital Holography

Remote measurement of wind speed and direction can improve wind turbine efficiency, but current methods are too expensive for turbine operators to recover the capital investment. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of a novel, lower-cost, method of wind sensing in Phase I and develop a prototype sensor in Phase II.    

Fossil Energy, $249,823 for Development and Commercialization of IDAES-Based Performance Monitoring and Optimization System

DOE and NETL have created an advanced, open-source computational platform through the Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) for the design and development of new energy technology.

High Energy Physics, $199,908 for High Power Broad Band Isolator for kilowatt-class ultrafast laser systems

Faraday isolator is the key component for developing kW class ultrafast laser system. This SBIR proposal is to develop high performance isolator that can sustain Joule level femtosecond and kHz pulse train in the ultrafast laser system.

Nuclear Energy, $198,769 for Development of SiC-SiC Heat Exchangers for High Temperature Heat Transfer

Integrating energy production systems with industrial users of both electricity and process heat reduces carbon emissions and improves the economics of both nuclear and concentrated solar power plants. Silicon carbide composite heat exchangers are critical to making this integration cost effective.

Nuclear Energy, $143,539 for Microreactor Application for Civilian Medical Facility

Current efforts regarding microreactor technologies and applications are centered around military, remote location, and space applications. In order to promote and encourage the use of microreactors beyond these niche markets, novel civilian applications are required.            


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