Technologies such as fuel cells are not just for NASA. It is true fuel cells helped get humans into space and to the moon 50-60 years ago and will soon perhaps to Mars. But those fuel cells weren’t cost-effective enough to become accessible to other applications that are more familiar to us, like driving a car or powering our offices and homes. Nuclear plants, coal-fired utilities, and natural gas along with petroleum led the way for decades.
“Rapid” is how we describe getting things done quickly. It implies that an objective is pursued with haste, but not with waste. Rapid is positive, advantageous, and sought-after.
At Optimation we’ve been engaged in many renewable energy projects over the past few decades. Early on much of the focus was the production of ethanol as an alternate fuel. Most of the early production was from corn. Many states, like New York, mandated that commercial gasoline be blended with ten percent ethanol. There were some unintended consequences of these original plants. The large demand for corn, to convert to ethanol, caused disruptions in the food supply. There were also unanticipated maintenance issues for many using ethanol blended gas to power lawn mowers and other small engines.
Gas Technologies LLC. located in Walloon Lake, MI. has an NGL production facility set up in North Dakota and they are producing NGLs. Present production is at the rate of 600 mscfd. They anticipate a ramp-up of this rate by year-end and will shortly set up an adjacent Mini-GTL plant at the North Dakota site. Their goal is to change the world of gas flaring by making a huge reduction in the amount of gas flared.
Much of our focus in Rochester during the past year has been about photonics and the millions of dollars being provided and spent on development of photonics technologies. This focus has overshadowed investments in other less flashy manufacturing projects. Many of these other opportunities, new and old are located in the repurposed Eastman Business Park (EBP). A decade ago, when Kodak was phasing out and tearing down buildings in the park, there was a fear among many that it would become another huge sink hole for the super fund, and a blight to our community. This fear was increased when Kodak went into bankruptcy. A working group was formed in an effort to make sure this didn’t happen.