Providence Photonics in Baton Rouge, La., has been awarded a $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to commercialize its flare efficiency monitoring system. The system allows real-time monitoring of flare combustion efficiency at petroleum and chemical plants and other industrial facilities. Using a multispectral IR imager, the system measures relative concentrations of unburned hydrocarbons, products of combustion such as carbon dioxide and products of incomplete combustion, represented by carbon monoxide. Flares are used as safety and emissions-control devices to burn process-vent gases that are otherwise difficult to control. These operate in open air, making it difficult to monitor and measure their combustion efficiency. Providence’s monitoring system overcomes that challenge. “The small businesses receiving awards today are innovating affordable, energy-efficient technologies that are strengthening our economy and building a low-carbon future while bringing a unique vision for addressing complex environmental issues like reducing harmful emissions to create a cleaner environment and enhancing recycling processes,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement announcing several SBIR grants. “When we invest in research and innovation, that return on investment builds a healthy economy and a healthy environment for all of us.” For more information, visit www.epa.gov.