Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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November 08, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Captis Aire wins an EPA “Green Chemistry Challenge Award”

The participant in the "Innovation Crossroads" is one of only six recipients of the national award in 2023.

The Founder of a start-up company that is a participant in the “Innovation Crossroads” (IC) program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has won an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Green Chemistry Challenge Award” for a unique air pollution control technology.

Captis Aire, founded by Kim Tutin, is built on her Chemical Adsorption Innovation that Reduces Emissions (CAIRE) technology, which captures pollutants from the air and provides raw materials for a variety of industries. The EPA award – one of six made nationally – recognizes the technology’s game-changing potential in industries that release organic compounds into the air.

“We’re very proud of the EPA award and its recognition of the value of the CAIRE technology,” Tutin said. “I am extraordinarily and forever indebted to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and particularly the ‘Innovation Crossroads’ program.”

The patent-pending technology converts terpenes, a waste product released during the wood manufacturing process, into valuable chemicals. Today, these terpenes are burned as waste, which releases greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The technology captures more than 90 percent of the terpenes released from the wood products manufacturing process and converts them into valuable chemicals including those used in products such as biofuels, flavors and fragrances, according to the EPA.

We spotlighted Tutin and her start-up in this November 2022 article.

“Captis Aire is creating valuable products from a waste stream that would typically be burned. It’s an innovation that creates economic benefit and contributes to the nation’s clean energy goals,” said Dan Miller, IC Program Lead. “It’s a well-deserved honor, and we’re excited for Kim and the success of her company.”


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