World Intellectual Property Organization

Patenting for Cleaner Air

Overview

Name: EnviroScrub Technologies Corporation Object of Protection: Inventions
Organization Type: Commercial Enterprise Instrument of Protection: Patents
Industry: Industrial Engineering Focus: Partnerships, Research and Development
Country/Territory: United States of America Global Issues: Environment



EnviroScrub’s technology removes as much as 99% nitrogen and sulfur emissions
(Photo: EnviroScrub)

Background

Fossil fuels are the source of most of the electricity consumed in the United States: burning coal, natural gas and oil generates over 70% of total electrical power. However, burning these fossil fuels produces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and/or oxides of sulfur (SOx) that must be removed from emission streams to avoid air pollution, acid rain and smog.

Current technologies to remove NOx, SOx and Hg (mercury) (for example “Selective Catalytic Reduction” and “Flue Gas Desulfurization”) are expensive to install and operate, remove only about 90% of oxides emissions and generate hazardous waste.

In 2000, EnviroScrub Technologies Corporation, a Minnesota corporation, currently headquartered in Escondido, California, was established with the specific goal of becoming a world leader in the lucrative business of removing NOx, SOx, and Hg pollutants from the combustion of common fuels and industrial emissions.

Its clean-air technology inventions include a new dry-capture technology called the “Pahlman Process”, which removes as much as 99% of emissions at a low cost and without generating hazardous waste.

Research and Development

EnviroScrub Technologies has developed and patented various inventions and made remarkable progress in the development of clean-air technology. Its most remarkable development is the Pahlman Process™ technology, which was acquired by the company at an early stage of development.

Based on a hybrid form of MnO2, a black mineral powder, developed by EnviroScrub Technologies’ research and development team, the Pahlman Process technology removes NOx and SOx pollutants through a single, dual or multi stage dry process, making it more efficient than any other system currently on the market.

Initial capital and operating costs for this “dry scrubbing” system are estimated to be less and slightly higher, respectively, than those of existing conventional solutions. In addition, instead of generating hazardous materials and associated handling and disposal problems, it yields marketable industrial by-products that can be sold into the fertilizer, chemical and/or explosives industries.


A demonstration unit built on a 48' semi-trailer that can be transported virtually anywhere in the U.S. or Canada gives potential customers an on-site demonstration of the dry Pahlman Process technology
(Photo: EnviroScrub)

Patents

EnviroScrub Technologies has a coherent and active patenting strategy. It has obtained several U.S. and international patents for its Pahlman Process pollutant removal technology, as well as for production and regeneration of its proprietary sorbent compounds and for water filtration applications.

The company credits WIPO’s PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) system with helping it secure broad international patent protection for its technology. It cites two features of the PCT that were of particular significance in its choice to use the system: the quality of the international search and examination reports produced under the PCT and the deferral of certain national phase fees until the 30-month and 31-month deadlines.

Other PCT benefits include its simplicity and convenience by virtue of its single procedural mechanism for filing patent applications with effects in several countries. It also incorporates several fail-safe and user-friendly measures which allow the user opportunities to correct mistakes.

EnviroScrub Technologies has entered and completed the national phase under the PCT system in a number of countries, including through the European Patent Office and the Eurasian Patent Office. It was granted its first international patent (covering countries within the Eurasian region) in October 2003. This patent grants EnviroScrub Technologies protection in the Russian Federation, the world’s fifth largest coal-consuming nation.

Partnerships

EnviroScrub Technologies has raised several million U.S. dollars from private investors and is dynamic in developing, commercializing and licensing its dry Pahlman Process technology to power generating and industrial companies worldwide. It has entered into strategic partnerships with key companies in the energy industry such as Minnesota Power and Air Cure.

Global marketing of the technology, which is expected to cover developing countries as well, especially those that are reliant on fossil fuels, such as India and Nigeria, is organized with Nooter/Eriksen who have signed licensing agreements with EnviroScrub Technologies.

A significant portion of EnviroScrub Technologies’ financial resources are invested into research and development with academic research affiliates of institutions such as the University of North Dakota (recognized internationally for its expertise in advanced energy systems) and the University of Minnesota-Duluth (renowned for its applied research in minerals and other natural resources).

Protecting Technology in all Markets through one-stop-shop International Patent Filing

Through PCT patent filings, EnviroScrub Technologies secured international protection for its innovative technology, which in turn enabled it to safely start looking for markets and partners in order to commercialize the Pahlman Process technology on a global scale.

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