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S.D. Tech Company Wins $100,000 Grant From EPA

A San Diego company’s idea for a cooking stove that generates up to 10 watts of household electricity while producing only minimal emissions has won a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Hi-Z Technology Inc. is one of 13 companies nationwide selected for one of the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research, intended to improve air quality and protect the health of indigenous Alaskans and people across the developing world.

“Hi-Z’s work is an example of the creative thinking needed to address environmental problems,” Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s acting regional administrator in the Pacific Southwest, wrote in a Dec. 13 news release.

Hi-Z Vice President Fred Leavitt said the company’s stove, which runs on biofuels such as wood, can help families living in rural India cooking on a wood fire while lighting their homes with relatively expensive kerosene.

“For the typical Indian family, a day’s worth of cooking will provide enough energy to power lights for several hours and fully charge one or two cellphones,” Leavitt said in the release.

The phase-one grant is expected to help Hi-Z develop its technology. If successful, the company can apply later for a phase-two grant of up to $300,000 to refine and commercialize the technology.

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