MemPro Ceramics Corporation (MemPro) received notice that The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the company a $147,000 grant to continue the development of innovative ceramic nanofiber technology. The grant brings the total amount that the company has received from NSF to $847,000. The current grant will be used to expand the company's technical options to reduce harmful exhaust from fuel burning engines. MemPro has patented catalyst technology that provides low cost pollution control to fuel burning engines of all sizes. In 2008 the company received $500,000 from NSF to develop its NOXFOX™ brand of catalytic filters to meet 2011/2012 EPA small SI (spark-ignition) standards. The standards are aimed at reducing the harmful health effects of emissions from fuel burning engines.
The new grant will allow research on ceramic nanofiber technology for larger engines, biofuel synthesis, new battery technologies, and removal of hydrogen sulfides from natural gas streams. The company is currently scaling up production of its nCATfiber™ materials, which are based on ceramic nanofibers laden with catalyst metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. These expensive metals are used to convert engine exhaust gases and power plant emissions into clean, breathable components of air. MemPro's technology minimizes the amount of these metals compared with other technologies and in some cases provides a completely recyclable product.
MemPro has been conducting engine testing on nCATfiber materials at its testing facility in Broomfield, Colorado under the guidance of Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Gary Carlson. According to Dr. Carlson, “The new grant allows us to expand into larger markets such as the automotive and petrochemical industries. Support from NSF has been valuable during our expansion.”
The National Science Foundation provides additional support to its grantee companies, as it did in 2008, when it circulated a newsletter featuring MemPro's NOXFOX technology. The newsletter reaches congressional staff and policymakers. “The relationship with NSF also provides access to market research and consultants with expertise in commercialization and business planning. These resources have assisted MemPro in reaching customers and strategic partners,” according to Seth Finley, Vice President for Marketing at MemPro.
The National Science Foundation is a world-recognized scientific body that assesses the merits of new technology and awards Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) funding based on rigorous scientific and commercialization reviews. The NSF awards SBIR Phase I grants to companies that are developing new technologies, with the goal of providing ongoing support in Phase IB and Phase II grants. MemPro received its first research grant of $150,000 under the STTR program in November 2006. In November 2007 the NSF made a supplemental grant of $50,000 to MemPro to encourage continuation of discoveries. A $500,000 grant was awarded in July 2008 to cover research and development of the company's NOXFOX brand.