NextCAT Inc., a Detroit based company has signed an option agreement for Wayne State University biodiesel technology.
DETROIT—March 31, 2010. NextCAT Inc., a Detroit-based company, announced today that it has signed an option agreement for a biodiesel technology developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University. The technology that NextCAT brings to market allows biodiesel producers to use cost effective raw materials in their production process.
In the United States today, there are roughly 176 biodiesel plants with 80% of those plants sitting idle due to heavy losses as a result of high raw material costs. Many of the estimated 23,000 jobs in this industry remain in jeopardy if raw material costs are not resolved.
“This is a big milestone for us,” said Charles Salley, interim CEO of NextCAT Inc. “In February we received our first round of outside funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and now with this option agreement on the technology, we can begin pilot scale testing this spring to demonstrate what our products can do for biodiesel plants that saw a very tough year in 2009. Most of the producers in the U.S. sit idle right now because feedstock prices went through the roof, we can enable them to use much cheaper feedstocks,” Salley added.
The NextCAT technology developed by researchers at Wayne State allows producers to use feedstocks as inexpensive as 10 cents/lb. “Our catalysts can tolerate both high free fatty acid and water, and low cost feedstocks are typified by both of these characteristics” stated Simon Ng, Ph.D., chief technology officer at NextCAT, interim associate dean of research in the College of Engineering at Wayne State and co-inventor. “Many producers experimented with trying to pre-treat the feedstocks before it enters the stream, but unless you fix the core of the problem, the catalyst, you have a process that is far from optimal. My colleagues, Dr. Shuli Yan, Dr. Steven Salley, and I worked hard to make this happen.” added Dr. Ng.
“With the funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and the option agreement for the technology in place, we know this is just the beginning of a very busy but exciting year as we forge forward to help an industry that is in serious need of help,” said Salley. “This industry can help lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and, at the same time, improve our environment – a win-win for all of us.”
NextCAT is a startup company located at TechTown, Wayne State University’s Research & Technology Park in Detroit, Michigan. It was founded in 2009 by inventors Dr. Simon Ng, Dr. Steven Salley, Dr, Shuli Yan, and Interim CEO Charles Salley. NextCAT offers a class of heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production that allow biodiesel producers to use less refined and cheaper feedstocks in their production process. For more information visit http://nextcatinc.com/
Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.