Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

You are here

Aquaneersâ„¢ Solar Desalination System (a) provides point-of-use water purification solutions for customers that are off-grid or lacking steady access to power, fresh water, or both.

DOE is one of 11 federal agencies participating in the SBIR-STTR programs enacted under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. The SBIR-STTR programs work with eligible small technology firms to stimulate innovative, cost-effective solutions to challenging scientific and engineering problems.

The SBIR-STTR programs release Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for Phase I and Phase II projects twice each fiscal year, referred to as Release 1 and Release 2. Currently, AMO submits topics and manages projects selected through Phase I/II Release 2 FOAs.

  • Phase I projects explore the feasibility of innovative concepts with awards of up to $200,000 (depending on the topic) over nine months.
  • Phase II projects are expanded R&D efforts, with awards of up to $1,100,000 over two years.

Only companies that have received a Phase I grant may respond to Phase II FOAs.

For current and upcoming FOAs and basic information about the SBIR and STTR programs, including eligibility requirements, see the DOE SBIR web site. Visit the EERE SBIR web site for more detailed information on how to develop and submit an application.

AMO’s SBIR-STTR Projects

FY18 SBIR/STTR projects are listed below by topic. Expand each topic heading to see a list of projects, including project descriptions and AMO contact information. [Last updated September 2018.]

TOPIC: Atomically Precise Catalysts

STTR Phase II

Bio-Inspired Macromolecules Containing Atomically Precise Catalytic Active Sites

Mainstream Engineering Corp.

FL, Rockledge

7/31/17

7/30/19

New catalysts are needed to improve selectivity and yield during chemical processing.  Researchers propose to design macromolecular catalysts that resemble clamshells to act as highly selective C-H activation catalysts. These macro molecules will create complex, chiral pockets to bind metal ions, react with oxidants or molecular oxygen, and react selectively with C-H bonds in a variety of hydrocarbon compounds.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Hierarchical Zeolite Catalysts for Renewable Surfactants Platform

Sironix Renewables

MN, Saint Paul

7/31/17

7/30/19

Reduction in energy consumption for the laundry detergents industry remains on the top ten list of energy reduction targets because of the high energy costs for detergent production and consumer water heating. The work outlined in this proposal aims to utilize new catalyst materials to selectively synthesize in high yields the oleofuran sulfonate surfactant with improved detergency properties. The self-pillared pentasil catalyst materials are designed to target the hydrophilic/hydrophobic nature of surfactant molecules with atomically precise pillared catalyst structures that mimic the binding pocket of an enzyme, increasing throughput by three orders of magnitude. Phase I research will identify the precise catalyst structure that generates the highest yields of the oleofuran sulfonate surfactant.

AMO POC: David Forrest

STTR Phase II

Biologically Inspired Ammonia Production with Immobilized Nitrogenase

Fulcrum BioScience

UT, West Jordan

8/27/18

8/26/20

Fulcrum BioScience and the University of Utah are developing a bio-electrochemical process that converts air into ammonia using an advanced nitrogenase enzyme. The technology will generate ammonia from air at room temperature and pressure using alternative energy and enabling low-cost, small-scale distributed production. If successful, this process could be an alternative to the current capital and energy intensive Haber-Bosch ammonia production process.

AMO POC: Tara Gonzalez

SBIR Phase II

Advanced Catalysts Development for Oil Refinery

Advanced Energy Materials, LLC

KY, Louisville

7/31/17

7/30/19

This SBIR project will develop a new class of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanowire based selective catalysts for ultra-deep sulfur removal from various fuels based on selective ring opening catalysis for significant cetane number  improvement (an indicator of the combustion speed of diesel fuel), and decreasing the cost of catalyst manufacture.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

TOPIC: Hydrocarbon Technologies

SBIR Phase II

Portable Analytical Instrumentation for Instantaneous Real-Time Measurement of Chemical Elements in Raw Petroleum and Refinery Products

Applied Spectra, Inc.

CA, Fremont

7/31/17

7/30/19

A cost-effective analytical measurement technology is needed to enable rapid determination of the components and trace impurities in raw materials and refinery products.  Researchers propose to develop portable analytical instrumentation based on instantaneous laser ablation (LIBS) of the petroleum yielding real-time information on chemical composition. The proposed instruments will enable precisely controlled processes by monitoring chemical data at various stages of refining. The LIBS analysis utilizes low power (<400W), does not require consumables and generates no waste. The prototype system was built during Phase I; Phase II will involve development of a ruggedized compact LIBS instrument for the refining industry.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Hydrogen Generation from Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO)

TDA Research, Inc.

CO, Wheat Ridge

7/31/17

7/30/19

Refineries in the U.S. are processing increasingly heavy sour crude oils and processing these heavy feedstocks requires considerable quantities of hydrogen gas. TDA Research Inc. is developing a technology called HyRes (hydrogen from residuum) that will allow small refineries to produce their own hydrogen by converting less valuable bottom of the barrel and other heavy oil feedstocks.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Cold Plasma Partial Oxidation of Methane to Higher Value Products

Reactive Innovations, LLC

MA, Westford

7/31/17

7/30/19

Reactive Innovations, LLC is developing a new cold plasma chemical reactor that can process natural gas into valuable chemicals and fuels. The reactor incorporates a new multi-phase catalyst structure that controls the oxygen content at the catalytic surfaces along with an improved plasma distribution about the catalysts thus improving reaction yields and selectivity. This project will use a new manufacturing technology for producing microchannel systems and demonstrate this particular oxidation reactor by producing C2 and C3 hydrocarbon compounds directly from methane.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Low Cost Modular Plasma System for Reforming of Natural Gas

Rivis, Inc.

NC, Raleigh

8/1/16

10/31/18

A low-cost point-of-use manufacturing system will be developed which converts currently abundant supplies of natural gas into valuable chemical products.  A non-equilibrium dielectric barrier discharge system provides scalable capacity for reforming methane into valuable products such as acetylene, hydrogen and other related hydrocarbon molecules. The high power density and high average electron energies of the plasma will provide selective conversion at near room temperature.  During Phase II the scalable modular design will be completed; the yield of reaction products will be fully characterized; and the collection and concentration of product streams completed.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR Phase II

High Efficiency, High Temperature Heat Recuperation for Reduced Plasma Energy Consumption

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.

PA, Lancaster

8/1/16

10/31/18

Efficient, cost-effective methods for converting relatively inexpensive natural gas to hydrogen-rich syngas are needed. ACT developed a new plasma fuel reformer, a non-catalytic approach, and performed experiments to characterize the effect of heat recirculation on syngas yields and reactor efficiency. For phase II, design improvements to increase hydrogen rich syngas yield and overall efficiency are proposed through advanced modeling and experimental testing. Partners include Drexel Plasma Institute, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Gas Technology Institute, and FuelCell Energy.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

TOPIC: Advanced/Atomically Precise Membranes

SBIR Phase IIA

Oxygen Separation with Dual Phase Nano-Composite Membranes

Global Research & Development, Inc.

OH, Columbus

8/27/18

8/26/20

 

During previous awards, nano ceramic membranes on ceramic supports were developed that were smooth and defect-free and able to selectively separate O2 from air at temperatures of 300°C – 500°C. Additional improvements were made to the Gadolinium-doped cerium oxide and platinum nanoparticle membrane layer as well as the tubular supports for the membranes. Global Research & Development is now building a full oxygen module and will perform long term testing on the modules and will also work on designs to scale the membrane process for two market areas:  1-10 ton/day capacity and 100-500 ton/day capacity.

AMO POC: David Forrest

STTR Phase II

Atomically Precise Membranes for the Separation of Hydrocarbons

Mainstream Engineering Corp

FL, Rockledge

5/21/18

5/20/20

Atomically precise, triangular and square pore-containing macromolecules using a unique, stiff, programmable molecular scaffold will be developed that will synthesize porous triangular and square macromolecules. The pore containing macromolecules will be incorporated into atomically precise membranes with extremely high flux and selectivity.  In Phase I, sheets of atomically precise cross-linked macromolecules will be synthesized and characterized. In Phase II, the macromolecular sheets will be transitioned to a robust, scalable membrane capable of selective separations.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Nanomembrane Interactive Forward Osmosis (FO) Polymers for Desalination and Remediation

Covalent, LLC

NV, Las Vegas

5/21/18

5/20/20

An atomically-precise single atomic layer nanomembrane is inherently delicate and cannot be subjected to the extreme pressures found in Reverse Osmosis Membranes (0.5nm thick vs 12,000nm). To address desalination, a Forward osmosis draw solution is proposed that consists of an environmentally sensitive polymer that will take up water and carry it to a location away from the membrane where energy can be added to change the polymer conformation and allow it to release its bound water. The hydrophilic polymer will then be recycled back to the nanomembrane to repeat the cycle. Covalent will build upon the phase I proof of concept to perform functionality and stability testing on these polymers to determine which are most likely to scale-up.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Novel Low Cost Two-Dimensional Atomically Precise Covalent Organic Membranes

NCO Technologies LLC

NC, Concord

5/21/18

5/20/20

In this research, 2D atomically precise membranes with tailored carbon capture functionality are being developed based on pore engineering. The membranes represent a highly promising class of materials with exceptional chemical/thermal stability and tunable porosity that can provide a much-needed solution to the carbon capture problem. Gas separation test shows the fabricated membranes have promising selectivity when the flux is high. During Phase II, the gas separation performance will be further improved by optimizing the pore size (including longer side chains and photo-responsive moieties) and thickness.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Fabrication of high-quality zeolite membranes with a novel plate & frame configuration for molecular-scale mixture separations

nGimat, LLC

KY, Lexington

5/21/18

5/20/20

Energy-efficient membrane separation technologies are considered a highly cost-competitive alternative to PSA process for bioethanol concentration & purification. In Phase I, nGimat made great progress in generating high-separation-performance NaA zeolite membranes on cheap porous supports. Phase II will be concentrated on further optimization and scale-up production of the best-performing NaA zeolite membranes to meet the demand of energy efficiency.

AMO POC: Tara Gonzalez

SBIR Phase II

Processing Mixed Salts for CO2 Utilization

Luna Innovations Incorporated

VA, Roanoke

8/27/18

8/26/20

Luna Innovations proposes a dual phase separation membrane for the generation of sodium carbonate, magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate from bittern in salt waste. The proposed HCl extraction technology is a part of a core cluster of gas separation and conversion technologies that Luna is developing that use the capabilities of molten electrolytes to selectively absorb and transport specific gases at high rates, which allow for the separation membranes to exceed the performance limitations of conventional membranes by combining both high permeability and high selectivity. This innovation would allow for stockpiled salt systems to be processed into more valuable and useful chemicals for sale.

AMO POC: Tara Gonzalez

STTR Phase II

Polysulfide-Blocking Polymer Membrane Separators for Rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Sepion Technologies

CA, San Francisco

4/10/17

4/9/19

Rechargeable lithium-sulfur battery technology is critical to allow consumers expanded choice to productively integrate renewables to serve their daily energy needs. Novel polysulfide-blocking membranes have shown promise in laboratory-scale demonstrations, however, a low-cost manufacturing process for these membranes has yet to emerge. In Phase I, the viability of translating the laboratory results into large-area ion-selective membranes suitable for developing lithium-sulfur battery prototypes will be assessed. A batch process for the large-scale synthesis of leading edge polysulfide-blocking membrane materials will be established. Thereafter, a roll-to-roll coating process will be developed, whereby inks of these membrane materials are deposited in a continuous manner onto large-area porous polymer supports. The influence of coating strategy on membrane performance metrics will be carefully evaluated in order to advance a process to a pilot coater in Phase II and beyond.

AMO POC: Bob Gemmer

SBIR Phase II

Membranes for Highly Selective Separation and Concentration of Gases

Mainstream Engineering Corp.

FL, Rockledge

4/10/17

4/9/19

Sheets of atomically precise cross-linked macromolecules were synthesized using polycyclic, shape-programmable and functional group-programmable spiroligomer scaffolds in Phase I. In Phase II, macromolecular sheets will be transitioned to a robust, scalable membrane capable of selective separations.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Molecularly Precise Nanoporous Desalination Membranes

TDA Research, Inc.

CO, Wheat Ridge

4/10/17

4/9/19

New nanoporous desalination membranes for reverse osmosis (RO) were produced and tested during Phase I. A thin skin layer of new separatory materials were cast onto a support, with the resulting membranes exhibiting excellent salt rejection and water flux. The performance of the membranes could be adjusted by altering the nature of the nanopores in the membranes. In Phase II, researchers will further develop and characterize new RO membranes based on a polymer membrane with a nanoporous polymer selective skin layer; test the new membranes for desalination under a variety of water salinities and temperatures; characterize the biofouling propensity of the membranes; and scale-up membrane production for commercialization.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Development of Scalable Manufacturing Process for High-Selectivity Single-Layer Nanoporous Graphene Membranes

GRoWater, Inc.

MA, Cambridge

4/10/17

4/9/19

The Phase I demonstration of pressure driven nanofiltration by nanoporous graphene on a polymeric support is a first of its kind and constitutes a major milestone for this technology. Phase II will advance nanoporous graphene membrane technology by developing scalable manufacturing methods to enable roll-to-roll production and packaging of the membrane into functional modules with focus on water desalination applications.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

High Oxygen/Nitrogen Selectivity Membrane

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.

DE, Newport

4/10/17

4/9/19

The program will develop a group of high selectivity oxygen/nitrogen separation membranes using high flux, chemically and thermally resistant amorphous fluorinated polymer membranes as the base matrix. The proposed membrane can produce oxygen enriched air for industrial use in combustion processes at a much lower cost than conventional oxygen/nitrogen separation membranes. This program will 1) reduce energy requirements for small or medium size furnaces by up to 60% and 2) provide high CO2 concentration exhaust streams for enhanced concentrating of CO2 for CO2 sequestering.

AMO POC: David Forrest

TOPIC: Advanced Materials/Advanced Materials Manufacturing

SBIR Phase I

Electro-dewatering of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

Faraday Technology, Inc.

OH, Englewood

7/2/18

4/2/19

Cellulosic nanomaterials exhibit great potential in various applications due to their unique properties. A significant cost-limiting factor to utilize cellulosic nanomaterials, however, is separation of the nanomaterials from the suspensions in which they are grown. This program will investigate electro-assisted dewatering technologies against performance constraints and develop individual cost models, including the candidate dewatering technology utilizing pulsed waveforms to achieve separation of cellulosic nanomaterials from its suspension.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR Phase I

Dielectrophoretic Enhancement of Dewatering

Physical Optics Corporation

CA, Torrance

7/2/18

4/2/19

Nanocellulose is a natural and renewable polymer (paper), which has been used from ancient times but is currently finding modern applications in composite materials. The proposed technology allows dewatering the nanosized cellulose without compromising its nanoscaling.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR Phase I

A New Process for Energy-Efficient Dewatering Methods for Cellulosic Nanomaterials

TDA Research, Inc.

CO, Wheat Ridge

7/2/18

4/2/19

Cellulosic nanomaterials are a new bio-based material that requires an energy-intensive, multi-step process to manufacture. TDA Research proposes a new dewatering system which will reduce energy consumption and production costs of these new bio-materials that can be used in a wide range of new products in packaging, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

STTR/TTO Phase I

Precision Nanoparticles for High Performance Devices

Voxtel, Inc.

OR, Beaverton

7/2/18

4/2/19

Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) offers a more environmentally friendly, cost-competitive process for producing nanoparticles while also providing a high level of control over nanocrystal size and morphology during synthesis. Voxtel will demonstrate the feasibility of using SFE to produce nanoparticle-based composite materials and devices, specifically for the performance of microwave radome systems.

AMO POC: Tara Gonzalez

SBIR Phase I

High Yield, Atomically Precise Chemical Activation

Covalent

NV, Las Vegas

7/2/18

4/2/19

Novel, atomically-precise nanomaterials and nanomembranes made by mimicking nature’s construction techniques are being developed to provide ultra-low energy, low cost, high purity water from sources as diverse as seawater, wastewater, and water contaminated from nature, agriculture, industry and other sources.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase I

Novel Probes for Tip-Based Atomically Precise Manufacturing

Tiptek LLC

PA, West Chester

4/9/18

1/9/19

Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is an emerging manufacturing technology in which materials, structures, devices, and finished goods are fabricated such that every atom is positioned at an exactly-specified location relative to the other atoms. However, one factor limiting this technology is the short lifetime of the probe that manipulates individual atoms. The key goal of this program is to develop commercial probes with extended lifetimes for tip-based atomically-precise manufacturing. The current project will leverage the atomically precise hydrogen resist lithography method developed by Lyding as an enabling technology for APM.

AMO POC: David Forrest

STTR Phase I

High-Speed Platform for Highly parallel STM lithography and hierarchical Assembly

Zyvex Labs

TX, Richardson

4/9/18

1/9/19

Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM) technology fabricates materials, structures, and devices such that every atom is positioned at an exactly specified location relative to the other atoms and the finished goods have no defects or imperfections. This project targets a key component of an APM system: a high-speed sub-nm-precision manufacturing platform for atomic precision patterning and hierarchical assembly using arrays of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) actuators. The overall objective of this project is to devise a platform for Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)-based high-speed and high-throughput imaging and lithography.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR Phase II

Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanomaterial for Use in Hydrophobic Matrix Materials

TDA Research, Inc.

CO, Wheat Ridge

8/27/18

8/26/20

Cellulose nanofibrils represent a natural, sustainable source of nanofibers that can be used in matrix materials as reinforcing additives. TDA Research proposes to develop a novel, fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite for the automotive industry that is recyclable and uses a natural, renewable source of fibers and will be competitive with the price of current, non-recyclable composite materials.

AMO POC: Steve Sikirica

SBIR

Phase  IIB

Flash Processed Steel for Automotive Applications

SFP Works, LLC

MI, Washington

8/27/18

8/26/20

SFP Works has developed a novel heat treating process to create low-cost, very high-strength steel known as Flash® Processing or Flash® Bainite that uses a thermal cycle of less than 10 seconds to create a ductile and weldable steel well suited or the automotive industry. SFP Works will collaborate with a major automobile manufacturer to redesign and ‘lighten’ an add‐on assembly using Flash® Bainite, and then build and test it against production qualification standards.

AMO POC: David Forrest

SBIR   Phase II

Rugged, Long-Life Flow Monitoring for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Ozark Integrated Circuits

AR, Fayetteville

8/27/18

8/26/20

Establishing a subsurface well requires monitoring electronics that can produce temperature, pressure and flow profiles at depths of up to 10,000+ feet at temperatures as high as 450°C. In Phase II of this project, OzarkIC will develop a robust, flow, temperature, and pressure system that can withstand these conditions but is also designed to be networkable through the use of SiC electronic “smart nodes.” (This project is managed jointly with Geothermal Technologies Office)

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR   Phase IIB

In-Line Quality and Process Control in Solar and Fuel Cell Manufacturing

Ultrasonic Technologies, Inc.

FL, Wesley Chapel

7/31/17

7/30/19

 

A new quality and process control methodology and tool prototype will be developed for real-time inspection of crystalline silicon solar and ceramic solid oxide fuel cells. A laboratory prototype of the in-line Activation Station-Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations (AS-RUV) will be designed, tested and demonstrate dramatically enhanced RUV sensitivity toward short cracks (sub-mm) in solar and fuel cells while meeting industry standards for throughput, sensitivity, and accuracy.

AMO POC: Stephen Sikirica

SBIR Phase II

Designing New Economical and Scalable High Performance Aluminum Alloys for Overhead Electric Transmission Conductors

NanoAl

IL, Skokie

4/10/17

4/9/19

Energy loss in high-voltage transmission systems currently costs U.S. economy billions of dollars annually, thus development of advanced and high performance electrical conductors is crucial. A new class of low-cost and scalable AA6000-series aluminum wire conductors that has simultaneously high electrical conductivity, high tensile strength and high thermal stability was successfully developed and demonstrated. The goals of this Phase II are: (i) further optimizing the new alloys to achieve an even better combination of electrical conductivity, tensile strength, and thermal stability; (ii) scaling up the production of developed aluminum wires, in a close collaboration with General Cable Corporation, the largest cable manufacturer in North America; and (iii) design, developing and testing new conductors, utilizing the newly developed wires, for overhead power transmission applications, in a collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Bonneville Power Administration.

AMO POC: David Forrest

TOPIC: Waste Heat Recovery

SBIR Phase II

Magnetocaloric Generator for Waste Heat Recovery

Aqwest, LLC

CO, Larkspur

8/1/16

2/28/19

In Phase I, a bench-scale demonstration magnetocaloric generator (MCG) unit was assembled and the operating regime was mapped out. During the process, a solution was invented that simultaneously enhances heat transfer, boosts performance, and reduces cost close to DOE targets and a new design was developed based on the new developments. In Phase II, the new heat transfer concept will be test validated, and then implemented and test validated in the existing MCG demonstrator unit.

AMO POC: Bob Gemmer

TOPIC: Wide Bandgap

SBIR Phase IIB

Low-cost, low-defect, 2" GaN epi-ready substrates processed with E-Grinding

SixPoint Materials, Inc.

CA, Buellton

8/27/18

8/26/20

This project addresses an issue of inefficiency and high-cost in the process for making damage-free, atomically-flat gallium nitride wafers. A novel, ultra-fine grinding process called E-Grinding, was demonstrated – on 10mm by 10mm wafers – during Phase I which creates a smoother surface with reduced damage using less processing time than the conventional polishing process. In Phase II, the wafer size will be expanded to 2 inches (>50 mm) and E-Grinding will be incorporated to achieve a more than 30% reduction in wafering time.

AMO POC: Tara Gonzalez

TOPIC: Desalination – Integrated Systems

SBIR Phase II

Solar Thermal Assisted Vacuum Freezing Desalination of Seawater at the Triple Point

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.

PA, Lancaster

7/31/17

7/30/19

A spray vacuum freezing desalination process will be developed to decrease the energy requirements in seawater desalination. Nucleating agents will be used to suppress subcooling of freezing the sprayed seawater droplets, so that the energy requirement of the vapor compression process can be minimized. The Phase I work will focus on demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed concept. One or two proper nucleating agents will be selected, followed by designing, fabricating and testing a bench scale vacuum freezing chamber during Phase II.

AMO POC: Bob Gemmer

SBIR Phase II

Photothermal Solar Cell

Aquaneers

NY, Brooklyn

7/31/17

7/30/19

This project will undertake a systematic work plan to develop a point-of-use water purification device for commercialization that operates using solar energy. The Solar Desalination System (SDS) operates by virtue of an innovative Photo-Thermal (PT) Solar Cell that incorporates plasmonic nanostructures.  The PT cell uses solar energy to generate steam within the SDS, which is condensed and collected as pure water. During Phase I, a self-contained solar-powered water-desalination system that has efficient operation in an economical design will be demonstrated and then scaled for commercial use during Phase II.

AMO POC: Bob Gemmer

SBIR Phase II

 PEM Based Vacuum Desalination System

Xergy, Inc.

DE, Seaford

7/31/17

7/30/19

Phase I of this program will determine the highest throughput ionomer membrane for vacuum desalination (VD) and build a scalable prototype of the PEM VD system suitable for coupling with any independent energy generation system in remote applications. Researchers will (1) create a test system to (2) quantify and optimize the efficacy and efficiency of the membrane vacuum desalination technology. This data will then be used to (3) design and create a scalable functioning prototype unit during Phase II.

AMO POC: Bob Gemmer

TOPIC: Intelligent Systems/Materials Discovery

SBIR Phase I

Combinatorial Discovery of Heterogeneous Catalysts Utilizing Emission Spectroscopy and Advanced Machine Learning

Accustrata, Inc.

MD, Rockville

7/2/18

4/2/19

Researchers propose to create a high-throughput flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) system for the rapid, combinatorial discovery and optimization of heterogeneous catalysts.  The proposed system will comprise three key features: (1) Optimization and operation of the high-throughput FSP system capable of creating Pd-CeO2-MnOx solid solution catalysts; (2) Integration of an in-situ laser induced breakdown spectroscopy system capable of monitoring the particle synthesis in real time; and (3) Development of an advanced machine learning algorithm that will utilize process parameters, in-situ laser induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements, and post-synthesis characterization data to help narrow material search space and speed up materials discovery.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

STTR Phase I

Nanoparticle Catalytic Discovery using Machine Learning Models with Chemisorption Inputs

Biena Tech LLC

OH, Akron

7/2/18

4/2/19

Nanoparticle size, shape, and facet type influence adsorption and catalysis of a wide range of organics. Biena Tech, LLC will develop a catalytic screening platform that picks nanoparticle facets and heterostructures for remediation of organic contaminants (Phase I). The models would be extended to a larger set of catalytic applications (Phase II), based on identified informatic motifs that are shown to be of significant influence in remediation processes.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

STTR Phase I

Development of Intelligent Systems for Atomically Precise Membranes, Macromolecular Catalysts and Therapeutics

Christian Schafmeister

PA, Merion Station

7/2/18

4/2/19

Researchers will develop software to design atomically precise macromolecular membranes, catalysts, and pharmaceutical compounds based on “Molecular Lego” synthesis technology, together with the synthetic approach to create the molecules. “Molecular Lego” is a unique and patented synthetic approach to constructing macromolecules with designed three-dimensional structures and functional group display. It consists of unique cyclic, chiral molecular building blocks that are connected to each other through pairs of amide bonds to construct ladder molecules with programmable shapes.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

STTR Phase II

Robust Molecular Predictive Methods for Novel Polymer Discovery and Applications

Sheeta Global Tech Corp.

CA, Covina

8/27/18

8/26/20

“Smart” polymer-based enhanced oil recovery technology can increase our oil productivity from vast amounts of domestic reservoirs previously considered unrecoverable, which account for more than 2/3 of our oil reserves. The robust computation-assisted combinatorial molecular design tools proposed in this project can facilitate and speed up the discovery and rationalization processes of the specialty polymer designs.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

SBIR Phase II

Demonstration of Combinatorial Additive Manufacturing Approach for the Design of Alloys

RadiaBeam Systems, Inc.

CA, Santa Monica

8/27/18

8/26/20

This project will develop metal Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D printing) technology to study, discover, and process new alloys exhibiting a superior combination of mechanical strength, corrosion resistances, and better strength-to-weight ratios ideal for use in demanding structural, electrical, magnetic, high-temperature, wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant application throughout industry.

AMO POC: Brian Valentine

TOPIC: Thermal Process Intensification

SBIR Phase I

Microwave Irradiation Intensified Process for Scalable Functional Device Assembly

3D Array Technology LLC

CT, Storrs

7/2/18

4/2/19

This SBIR Phase I project will result in a low-cost and high-efficiency microwave-irradiation- intensified scalable manufacturing of nanostructured functional devices for environmental and energy applications. The obtained strategy will enable the industrial-relevant practical application of the novel nano-array based catalysts for automotive emission.

AMO POC: Joe Cresko

SBIR Phase I

Energy-Saving Process for Extraction of Vanadium

Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation

MA, Woburn

7/2/18

4/2/19

Vanadium is a critical constituent of the high-strength steels that make cars lighter, safer, and more efficient.  Boston Electrometallurgical will apply a new manufacturing technology to supply the American steel industry with vanadium alloys of higher quality at a lower cost, all while saving energy in producing these alloys.

AMO POC: Joe Cresko

SBIR Phase I

Integrated Membrane Reactor for Enhancing Thermal & Chemical Reactors

Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.

DE, Newport

7/2/18

4/2/19

Exothermic chemical reactions need to control both the heat of reaction and also chemical composition of the reaction mixture. Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) will use their fluoropolymer membrane modules to connect the CMS membrane reactor to reactor system in real time focusing on the process of oxidative dehydrogenation of ethane to ethylene. The CMS membrane reactor will both remove the desired olefin while simultaneously cooling the reactor.

AMO POC: Joe Cresko

SBIR Phase I

Low-Heat Process for the Production of High-Value Micro- and Nano-Materials From Metallic Wastes

Sep-All LLC

IA, Ames

7/2/18

4/2/19

Sep-All LLC provides a novel low-heat technology platform enabling the extraction of metallic elements from waste streams while adding a value to the materials through their conversion into high-value micro- and nano-materials.  Sep-All plans to extend its product line to the fabrication of ‘critical materials’ (materials with high supply risks and high environmental impact during ore processing).

AMO POC: Joe Cresko