Detroit-Based NextCAT Inc. Secures $250,000 to Commercialize Biodiesel Technology Developed at Wayne State University
(Wayne State University) NextCAT Inc., a Detroit-based company, announced that it has received $250,000 in seed funding from Automation Alley in Troy, Mich. NextCAT is commercializing biodiesel catalyst technology developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University that will allow biodiesel producers to use cost-effective raw materials.
Founded in 2009, NextCAT is commercializing a class of catalysts that enable producers to use a wide variety of inexpensive feedstock such as waste vegetable oil, animal fats and residual corn oil, and convert them into biodiesel. NextCAT offers a unique solution for an industry that has been mostly idled in the United States since 2008 when rising feedstock prices and the price drop of petroleum diesel made the production of biodiesel uneconomical. With a cost savings of at least $1 per gallon, the NextCAT solution greatly changes the economics of a biodiesel plant.
“We have a technology that has been proven in the lab by the science team at Wayne State University’s National Biofuels Energy Lab,” said Charles Salley, CEO of NextCAT Inc. “This seed funding from Automation Alley allows us to begin to design, build and install a reactor in an idle biodiesel plant in Michigan. This investment of $250,000 in NextCAT from Automation Alley brings the total amount of investment funding to date to $600,000. Additionally, we have been awarded $205,000 in grant funding.”
“The science team of Dr. Steven Salley, associate professor of chemical engineering, College of Engineering, Dr. Shuli Yan, research director at NextCAT, and I are excited to see our technology progressing toward usage by the biodiesel producers, and we look forward to a successful production demonstration later this year,” said Simon Ng, Ph.D., chief technology officer at NextCAT, interim associate dean for research in Wayne State’s College of Engineering and the technology’s co-inventor. READ MORE