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FILE - Idle Free Heat, which has developed patented technology to recycle heat from a vehicle’s engine to the interior cabin for up to one hour, has been awarded a grant from the Utah Clean Air Partnership to install the system Granite's school bus fleet.

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Idle Free Heat, which has developed patented technology to recycle heat from a vehicle’s engine to the interior cabin for up to one hour, has been awarded a grant from the Utah Clean Air Partnership to install the system in 40 school buses in the Granite School District.

“The UCAIR grant is making an enormous impact toward clearing our air,” Joel Ewell, inventor and owner of Idle Free Heat, said in a statement. “A typical school bus spends one to three hours a day idling just to keep the inside of the bus heated. With Idle Free Heat installed, the bus no longer needs the engine idling in order to keep the heat flowing. Now, the driver and passengers can stay warm without polluting our air with vehicle emissions, one of the biggest contributors to our poor air during inversions.”

The system was installed in two of Granite School District’s buses last year as part of a pilot program to reduce specific pollutants that create PM2.5 and ozone.

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According to the statement, a single school bus idling for an hour emits 81 grams of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, PM10, PM2.5 and other pollutants. By eliminating bus idling, the district will eliminate hundreds of pounds of pollution emissions, save money on fuel and extend the life of vehicle engines. Idle Free Heat is also currently working with manufacturers to offer a system that would be available to the general public.

Now in its fifth year, the UCAIR Grant Program funds creative and innovative projects that address areas that have significant impact on air quality.

Ewell secured a patent for his system, which was originally introduced to the public during last year’s UCAIR Clean Air Innovation Competition, and opened for business a year ago.