CATALYX NANOTECH, INC., is teaming with Dudek to pursue low-cost, "green" high-grade graphite and hydrogen production with no by-products using a patented technology. Catalyx Nanotech, a privately funded company focused on nanotechnology applications, and Dudek, a California-focused environmental and engineering consulting firm, are seeking multiple landfills in Southern California on which to site production facilities. Catalyx Nanotech anticipates commencing production in the first plant in late 2009.
Catalyx Nanotech intends to install plants at landfills to convert the produced methane gas into two useful materials: elemental graphitic carbon, which will be transformed into nanomaterials, and hydrogen, a valuable fuel source. Catalyx Nanotech will be creating a three-pronged decrease in greenhouse gases (GHG) by eliminating the greenhouse gases resulting from 1) landfills burning off their methane and 2) those typically generated during hydrogen production, as well as 3) the reduction in greenhouse gases realized when hydrogen replaces other hydrocarbons as a fuel source.
Catalyx Nanotech currently employs a patented technology to produce Platelet Graphite Nanofibers (PGNF) from natural gas at a much lower cost than competitors. The first stage of the production process is the cracking of methane to high-grade graphite and pure hydrogen. The company has made a conscious decision to use sequestered carbon (as graphite) from waste sources as feedstock, and is taking the next step towards this end goal.
Dudek has been analyzing the technology for its environmental impacts, including its impact on greenhouse gas reduction efforts by all landfills. In addition, Dudek will help identify appropriate landfill candidates, perform engineering for the project and secure all permits.
"Catalyx Nanotech's solution has the potential to offer cost and environmental benefits to all parties involved, particularly landfills and anaerobic digester plants that are struggling to generate sufficient revenues from electricity generators for the methane content in their biogas," said Dudek Senior Project Manager Chris Trees. "By using landfill methane at its source, and not requiring internal combustion engines or turbines to make beneficial use of the methane, you not only eliminate NOx emissions, but CO2 emissions as well. We look forward to working with Catalyx Nanotech and helping them identify appropriate partners for producing green energy with higher margins than competing technologies."
Catalyx Nanotech's process uses a patented catalyst to sequester the carbon from the landfill methane as high purity graphite, a valuable product used in aerospace, automobiles, batteries, and a myriad of other applications. The graphite is then converted to Platelet Graphite Nanofibers by further processing.
As an added benefit, by utilizing landfill methane, Catalyx Nanotech expects to offer low-cost, green hydrogen near urban areas to help minimize the logistical hurdles for a hydrogen economy. Besides offering several local hydrogen production facilities in every urban area, the patented process enhances the value of the hydrogen effort by eliminating the carbon footprint associated with conventional hydrogen production from fossil fuels.
By producing two marketable products from landfill methane, Catalyx Nanotech expects to be able to compensate the landfill operators at a better rate.
"Dudek has an outstanding reputation as a leading consultant on California natural resource management and infrastructure development," said Mustafa Jangbarwala, V.P. Business Development at Catalyx Nanotech, Inc. "We're very pleased to be working with them to help provide carbon sequestration and alternative fuel solutions to their customers."
Jangbarwala said Catalyx Nanotech, expects to establish its first sites in Southern California and then expand to other regions.