Cornelius company behind latest carbon storage discovery
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – Environmental scientists have for years tried to find ways to remove harmful carbon monoxide from the air.
A Cornelius father-and-son team is joining with a Texas researcher who has found a way that is inexpensive, efficient and proven.
Paul and Jason Ornstein, owners of Framergy, leverage and commercialize scientific discoveries so they can be put to effective use.
One such discovery belongs to Hong-Cai Zhou. Zhou is a research professor at Texas A&M University, where he made the discovery of a new carbon capture material called “polyamine tethered porous polymer network.”
Jason Ornstein first learned of the research when he was finishing his master’s degree in environmental science at New York University after serving three tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army.
When he discovered Dr. Zhou’s research he knew it was something he and his father had to get behind.
Zhou’s discovery works by starting with a single molecule trap that is configured of chemicals that work together to take the carbon dioxide out of the air and transfer it into a metal organic framework, which stores the carbon dioxide.
The end result is something that looks like pieces of sand or dried mud. One small piece contains enough carbon to fill a football field.
Paul Ornstein said the research on the project has taken more than six years and was funded by grants from the federal government – nearly $5.5 million worth.
“The concept of storing CO2 is not new, but the problem has been they’ve been storing it in liquid, which requires huge storage mechanisms,” Paul Ornstein said. “Our method is 70 percent cheaper than others and it stores it in something miniscule.”
Since announcing this new science, Paul Ornstein said the company and Zhou have had a great response from investors, industrialists and scientists.
Last year, Framergy held a meeting at the Peninsula Club with industrialists from the area and by the end of the meeting had investors lined up.
“We had a fantastic response,” Paul Ornstein said. “Now we have to take it to the next level.”
While Paul Ornstein focuses on the operations of Framergy and getting local investors, Jason Ornstein and Zhou have traveled the world taking their science to major environmental summits in China and other countries.
Because the science is still so new, Paul Ornstein said the next step is “getting industrial partners to create some real-life, big-time field testing.”
He said the company has already been reached out to build a mechanism that will work on natural gas fuel tanks for storage of the CO2.
Paul Ornstein said Framergy is working on finalizing its patents as it continues to court investors.
For more information on Framergy and Zhou’s discovery, visit www.framergy.com.