With oil prices skyrocketing, transportation companies around the country are struggling to cope with higher fuel costs.
But as the WXXI Innovation Trail’s Zack Seward reports, a Rochester company is using nanotechnology to help ease the pain.
Cerion Energy makes a diesel additive that’s been shown to cut fuel costs by about 10 percent, while at the same time significantly reducing soot and greenhouse gas emissions.
They call it GO2, and each particle of it is very, very small.
“So something on the size of a virus or smaller, to give you some kind of scope.”
That’s Ken Reed, Cerion’s co-founder and Chief Technical Officer. And his nano-sized fuel optimizer could make the local startup big-time profits.
After two-and-a-half years of R & D, Cerion is beginning to sell its diesel additive to marine fleets, rail lines and mining companies.
Reed says the catalyst, which is added to diesel to make it burn more efficiently, could have a large impact, in spite of its tiny size.
“You’re talking about some of the smallest things you can possibly contemplate — [things] we can see with a powerful electron microscope — addressing some of the largest societal problems that we have: energy conservation. I find that kind of deeply ironic, that’s all.”
Cerion executives say they could see $100 million in sales over the next 18 months. Reed says the company hopes to one day modify the nano-particle, so that the catalyst can enter the much bigger market for gasoline.
It’ll first have to win approval for on-road use in diesel-burning big rig trucks. That’s something Cerion says it’s currently working toward.
© Copyright 2011, WXXI