Spero Energy receives NSF funding

By Purdue Research Park | July 25, 2014

A Purdue Research Park-based company whose one-step, patent-pending technology could improve the efficiency of alternative fuels and the production of fragrance products has received funding from the National Science Foundation.

Spero Energy Inc. has received a six-month SBIR Phase I grant from the NSF worth $150,000. Its technology is based on Purdue University intellectual property.

Basudeb Saha, chief technology officer, said the grant will help Spero Energy commercialize its lignin conversion technology.

"We will use the funding to develop process conditions for the lignin-derived products. The quality of these products will be tested for use in fragrances," he said. "The award also will help us evaluate the stability of our catalysts, optimize critical reaction parameters to accelerate the scaling up of the technology, and develop a commercialization plan by assisting with market research."

Saha credited the NSF and its mission to promote the progress of science.

"Besides funding basic research in all areas of fundamental science and engineering, the National Science Foundation provides R&D funds to small businesses to develop high-risk, high-potential technologies that have significant commercial and societal impact," he said. "We're humbled by the SBIR Phase I grant that we received, as it recognizes the technical and commercial merit of our work, as established through rigorous criteria and review processes from the NSF."