Newhouse applauds DOE investment in Small Business Research to eliminate plastic waste, capture CO2

Molecule Works, Inc. to receive federal dollars for continued research & innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 22 Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement applauding the U.S. Department of Energy’s grant award announcement for two projects from Molecule Works, Inc. in Richland.

The research being developed at small businesses like Molecule Works, Inc. will have an extraordinary national impact, and the work of our local scientists demonstrates Central Washington’s continued commitment to leadership in scientific innovation and discovery,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse. “Federal investment in these important projects will allow for even more scientific innovation, critical environmental research, and job creation in our region and across the country. Congratulations to the team at Molecule Works, Inc. – I look forward to your continued success.”

Two Molecule Works, Inc. projects received federal grants funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs. Both selections are for Phase I research and development.

"This SBIR funding is very helpful for Molecule Works Inc. to develop our research and product prototypes. With the new Phase I funding, we are planning to hire new technical personnel in the near future. Once the technology is moved to next stage, a significant increase in the workforce is expected," said Mitch Odinak, Chief Commercial Officer of Molecule Works, Inc.

Compact Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Efficient Conversion of Waste Plastics into Fungible Liquid Fuels - $199,985

This project aims to research and perfect a technology that converts plastic waste into liquid fuels. Expected national benefits from this project include sustaining the U.S. manufacturing technology leadership, generating new businesses and jobs, eliminating waste plastics and its environmental pollution, and enhancing the quality of American life and health.


Mini-channel-structured Adsorption Reactor with In-situ Heat Exchanger for Rapid CO2 Adsorption and Regeneration - $249,798

This project aims to improve the effectiveness of CO2 capture technologies. The proposed technology addresses the challenging problem of CO2 capture from flue gas and helps the U.S. manufacturing stay competitive by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating new technical jobs.


Further information about Molecule Works, Inc.’s technology can be found on their website.


DOE awarded 256 grants totaling $53 million to 211 small businesses in 35 states and the District of Columbia.


A cornerstone of the American economy, small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs throughout the country. I applaud our Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for awarding over two hundred small businesses across 35 states and the District of Columbia a total of $53 million dollars for research and development projects. Now more than ever, we want to lend support to our country’s small businesses to ensure they are thriving again soon,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.



The SBIR and STTR programs were created by Congress to leverage the capabilities of small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies. Additional information on the DOE SBIR and STTR programs is available at the SBIR/STTR Programs Office website.

The Phase I grants will allow small businesses to research technical feasibility of new innovations that advance the mission of the Department. Phase I grants are 6-12 months in duration with a median award amount of $200,000. Successful Phase I grantees will be eligible to apply for Phase II awards in fiscal year 2021 to develop novel prototypes or processes to validate their Phase I research findings. Phase II grants have a median award amount of $1,100,000 and a duration up to 2 years.

Molecule Works Inc. (MWI) is a US-based technology company, registered in the State of Washington, and established in 2015 to pursue commercialization of three fundamental inventions licensed from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL): thin porous metal sheet, thin-sheet zeolite membrane, and cassette-type membrane module. Since then, MWI has successfully demonstrated scale-up of all the critical membrane preparation steps and established its proprietary pilot manufacturing capabilities for production of thin porous metal and zeolite membrane sheets. The pilot-scale manufacturing capabilities enable production of a large number of 20cm x 20cm membrane sheets for application prototype development and customer sampling.

MWI has developed several innovative manufacturing methods and processes for production of the porous metal sheet-based membrane products at low cost. MWI has also made a series of new inventions for applications of its membrane products.





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