As the technology transfer agent of choice for most University of Alberta researchers, TEC Edmonton has assisted hundreds, if not thousands, of scientists in the patenting and licensing of their inventions, but few patents and subsequent business deals have created as much excitement as this one.
Almost 10 years in the making, Forge Hydrocarbons, led by Tim Haig, one of Canada’s top bio-fuel entrepreneurs, is commercializing a patented conversion process developed by Dr. David Bressler, a researcher in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta.
Bressler’s breakthrough process starts at one end with “ugly” feedstock such as animal fat, beef tallow, crop seed oil and even restaurant grease, and emerges at the other with pure gas or diesel fuel. “Actually it’s better,” says Bressler. “There’s no impurity in the end product, no metals, sulphur or nitrogen.”
TEC Edmonton has been working with Dr. Bressler on this process since 2006, researching its market viability, advising Dr. Bressler, filing the patent and negotiating the business deal with Forge Hydrocarbons. “It’s been a pleasure working with Dr. Bressler on the patenting process, and with ForgeHydrocarbons and Dr. Bressler through the licensing negotiations,” says Darrell Petras, technology transfer manager for TEC Edmonton. “The technology, Tim’s industry experience, Dr. Bressler’s commitment and TEC Edmonton’s support have combined to create this strong company with serious growth potential.”
Haig is convinced that his product, once commercially perfected, could compete on the open market with crude-oil based product. Unlike bio-mass fuels, Bressler’s method produces actual diesel and gasoline molecules with as much energy or octane power as gas or diesel from crude oil.
“There’s no impurity in the end product, no metals, sulphur or nitrogen.”David Bressler Researcher, University of Alberta