ThermoEnergy Corporation announced today that the Chinese Patent Office recently granted the patent for the Company's new zero air emission, carbon capture technology known as the ThermoEnergy Integrated Power System, or "TIPS" process.
TIPS burns carbonaceous fuels, including coal, oil, natural gas or biomass, to make steam and power without air emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water produced in the combustion process are captured for sequestration or beneficial reuse. TIPS represents a totally different thermodynamic approach in power plant design that will allow greater process efficiencies and economic performance as well as eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.
The Chinese patent is the sixth TIPS foreign patent to be granted, along with two US patents already issued. The Company has approximately 31 foreign patents still pending. "China represents the one of the Company's four key strategic markets for our TIPS clean energy process," said Dennis C. Cossey, CEO of ThermoEnergy Corporation, "the other markets are the US, Russia and India. The Russian patent issued earlier this year and we expect the Indian patent to issue in due course." Concurrent with the TIPS technology development effort, the Company has engaged in preliminary discussions with potential joint venture partners already operating in these key markets. In addition, the Company is also talking to the US Department of Commerce concerning the possibility of joining their upcoming 'Clean Energy' trade mission to China and India.
"Now that the TIPS patent has been granted in China, the Company can begin to fully implement its China strategy," said Alex Fassbender, EVP and Chief Technology Officer for ThermoEnergy. "Up until now, we have been forced to adopt a very cautionary stance as far as engaging in transactional negotiations with potential Chinese partners," added Fassbender.
Aided by three US Government grants totaling $2.5M, the Company plans to complete Phase 1 development, which is extensive thermodynamic modeling, by the first quarter of 2008. Phase 2 is the design, construction and operation of a large-scale, stand alone prototype TIPS facility to be sited at an existing industrial or utility host site. "Whether this site will be in the US, Canada or other 'off shore' locations has yet to be determined," said Cossey. "This decision will be made over the next 6 months by the TIPS development team that the Company is currently assembling for this venture."