An Adaptable Ethane ‘Cracker’ Technology
Increasing amounts of natural gas throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are creating quite a stir.
Regionally, many view this resource as a great opportunity for economic growth.
A valuable molecule contained within natural gas is ethane, the element that is “cracked” into ethylene, a component used for numerous plastics and other end products.
Currently, the plants that process ethane into ethylene exist on the Gulf Coast. But efforts are underway to establish local infrastructure and related job creation.
Given the tremendous volume of projected natural gas availability, it makes sense to build processing and production facilities in our own community.
A Scalable Solution
Enter Aither Chemicals, a company focused on building new ethylene-based chemical plants, using a proprietary technology invented in South Charleston, W. Va.
Aither’s science can be used to build a series of smaller chemical plants. Also, our catalytic “cracking” technology can be scaled-up into larger plants as more ethane becomes available. So, whether small or large amounts of ethane are on hand, Aither offers a flexible solution.
According to independent analysis, when compared with traditional steam cracking facilities, our demonstrated technology would require less capital investment and lower operating costs, at any scale.
This process also utilizes considerably less energy and emits significantly less carbon dioxide than traditional cracking technologies, thus, being more environmentally friendly.
Aither has received financial investment from the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust
and TechConnectWV. The company was started by and continues to receive support from the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC). Aither is currently negotiating additional investments and arrangements to build chemical plants in the Marcellus Shale region.
BioAmber Making its Mark Within Sustainable Chemicals Industry
Rarely has a company received both the ICIS Award for Best Business Innovation and the EPA’s Presidential Green
Chemistry Challenge Award and in the same year. But in 2011, BioAmber Inc.
achieved this distinction, an accomplishment
that only the Dow Chemical Co. had previously obtained.
The ICIS award recognizes companies that establish outside partnerships which speed product development and efficiency.
The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center is privileged to be one of BioAmber‘s technology partners.
MATRIC helped the renewable chemistry company establish a purification process for its production of bio-succinic acid,
which is estimated to cut BioAmber’s capital expenditures by one-third and drop its current expenditures by 20 percent.
An alternative to petrochemicals, bio-succinic acid is a more environmentally responsible chemical used in numerous fibers, plastics, and polyurethanes. BioAmber is the only company producing this platform chemical in commercial quantities, a key factor in its winning the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
MATRIC Forms Education Partnership with The Challenge Program
In our fields of expertise, knowledge of science, mathematics and technology is necessary. Developing these skill sets require education, the critical component that facilitates informed experimentation and discovery.
With this in mind, MATRIC Research is pleased to support The Challenge Program,
a nonprofit organization designed to provide high school students with incentives
to succeed, motivating them to excel both in and out of the classroom.
During an orientation assembly at George Washington High, we announced our academic partnership with
TCP and the school. This alliance intends to create good habits in students and positively impact our community.
After the school year is completed, 12 students in the sophomore, junior, and senior classes who excel in the areas of
Attendance, Academic Excellence, Academic Improvement, and Community Service will each receive an award in the amount
of $250 for their efforts.
Thanks to The Challenge Program for their worthwhile initiative. And to the students, best wishes. The principles and work habits you’re acquiring are bound to impact the future.
— Learn more about the initiative in this article from the Charleston Daily Mail.
Communications Specialist Joins MATRIC
The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC) has hired Jason Keeling as communications specialist, responsible for the organization’s community outreach, public relations and marketing strategy.
He previously worked full time as a public relations and online media consultant, serving organizations such as The Education Alliance, the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition, and the West Virginia School Boards Association, amongst other clients.
Keeling earned an M.A. in communication studies at Marshall University and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
“Jason will be instrumental in ramping up our online marketing and communications, in addition to helping MATRIC develop long-term strategies. His skills and contacts are an ideal match for the position,” said Greg Clutter, MATRIC’s chief operating officer.