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A Niagara Falls ceramic powders manufacturer has received a $500,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to develop an innovative thermoelectric application to create electricity from waste heat.

TAM Ceramics of Niagara Falls received the award to assist in its $1 million project to create a next-generation thermoelectric generator. The research focuses on materials that would be of use at higher temperatures, found in applications such as automotive exhaust and industrial waste heat. The work is scheduled to take more than 21 months.

TAM makes zirconia, titanate and zircon powders that are used in high-temperature furnace linings, brake pads, protective coatings for molten metal casting and welding consumables.

In a prior authority co-funded project, TAM made significant progress in developing its thermoelectric material.

TAM is subcontracting to Alfred University, Rochester Institute of Technology and ENrG Inc., an advanced ceramics company based in Buffalo. TAM will also obtain services from Clarkson University and Beautiful River Enterprises LLC, a management consulting company based in Western New York.