PCI Technology Awarded EPA SBIR Phase II Contract to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Decrease Building Energy Consumption

February 29, 2016

(North Haven, CT) Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced a major step forward for its regenerable air filter technology for removing VOCs and carbon dioxide from indoor air, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selecting PCI for a highly-competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract. Successful implementation of the technology in conjunction with a Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) system in a building offers potential for better indoor air quality (IAQ) with reduced building energy consumption. By directly removing these pollutants from indoor air, the air can be made cleaner while reducing the use of ventilation with outdoor air that needs to be heated or cooled and humidity-controlled. The U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates 41% of America’s energy is used in residential and commercial buildings – reducing the need for “make-up” outdoor air and its energy costs could save significant energy and equipment costs and reduce global warming.

Poor IAQ has been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health, with potential adverse health effects from the chronic exposure to the low levels of indoor air pollutants such as VOCs. VOCs are emitted into indoor air from numerous sources such as building materials, furnishings, cleaning compounds, office equipment, personal care products, air fresheners, occupant activities, etc. While existing particulate filters generally do a good job in limiting indoor particulate levels, indoor levels of VOCs are typically only diluted with replacement or make-up outdoor air supplied and conditioned by the HVAC system. This can be inadequate to the actual IAQ VOC problem (as in “sick buildings”, impacting health and productivity), plus this requires large energy outlays as building air is generally replaced 2-4 times per hour regardless of actual air quality.

PCI’s regenerable air filter technology offers direct removal of VOCs and carbon dioxide from indoor air, enabling better execution of Demand Control Ventilation in HVAC operations. PCI’s technology, utilizing modified nanomaterials, can be tailored to capture a variety of targeted chemical compounds, such as ammonia, VOCs (e.g., formaldehyde, benzene), pollutants from industrial processes, CO2 and H2S. Directly controlling specified contaminants will allow setting the air exchange rate to achieve a targeted air quality standard. During this Phase II, PCI will further develop and advance the air filter technology for specific building applications and for field evaluation at customer sites.

PCI will explore industrial collaborations to mature the technology, seeking partnerships for system integration and field demonstrations. Target early entry markets include buildings where air quality or HVAC energy costs are a concern, or where air filter replacements create a maintenance burden. Kevin Burns, PCI President, adds, “We believe our technology offers potential for improving indoor air quality for better human health, productivity and living at a lower overall cost and longer service life. This also offers building owners a more valuable property, and HVAC and building environmental control system manufacturers with a useful component improving their products’ value and attractiveness to their customers.”

Precision Combustion, Inc. is a clean energy technology development company directed to energy sector applications. To learn more, visit www.precision-combustion.com.

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