Green Space: NextCAT partners with Wayne to bring new biofuel technology to Detroit

TechTown start-up NextCAT has made a major stride in becoming a player in the world of biodiesel with the signing of an option agreement to produce technology engineered at Wayne State University. "Biodeisel been produced for a long time from vegetable oils commonly used for food, so the price is relatively high," explains NextCAT CEO Charles Salley. "This technology takes other biomass, other oils not in the food stream and converts them into fuel." Recycled cooking oil, algae and other plants not usable for food are examples of raw materials that this new technology can process into fuel.

Salley says that NextCAT is one of many examples of TechTown companies that are acting to commercialize technologies being developed at Wayne State. "It's a little-known fact about the robustness of research at WSU," he says. "(TechTown companies) are trying to ID leading research projects to help researchers find a research get converted into a commercial opportunity."

If NextCAT is successful, biodiesel fuel could become more viable in the marketplace by lowering the cost by as much as a dollar a gallon. "Currently, people are reluctant to adopt environmentally friendly fuel, and we think we can bring renewable fuels down to parity with petroleum," says Salley, who calls the benefits to this a "three-fer": reduced emissions, price and dependence on foreign fuel.

Source: Charles Salley, NextCAT
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

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