Bion Tech platform

Bion: Waste To Dollars

Earlier this week Bion Environmental Technologies (BNET) received approval of a patent for its proprietary ammonia recovery process.  Bion’s technology converts livestock wastes into ammonium bicarbonate.  Patent protection in the U.S. paves the way for Bion to deliver an environmentally friendly chemical to the market at attractive profit margins. Ammonium bicarbonate is used for a variety of purposes from leavening to crop additives.   It is the fertilizer market that has caught Bion’s attention.  The company intends to ‘close the loop’ for the agricultural sector by helping livestock producers economically dispose of waste and then delivering a fertilizer for food crops that qualifies as organic. It is an attractive...

While Others Seek to Inject CO2, Airgas Sells It

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Just one of the many suppliers of industrial and commercial carbon dioxide, Airgas, Inc. (ARG:  NYSE) recently announced plans to build a new carbon dioxide plant in Houston.  The press release hit news wires right along with announcements of carbon capture projects and other investments to reduce greenhouse effect from too much CO2 in the atmosphere. In one those strange twists that makes our world so interesting and vexing at the same time, is the fact that we use carbon dioxide all the while we invest wildly to reduce CO2...

Three Water Recycling Stocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA The water series continues as we attempt to get arms around the very large market to package, deliver, purify, treat, and recycle water.  As the need for water increases with population and economic activity, the use of waste waters has become an imperative.  In this post we look at three companies helping to clean up, reclaim and otherwise recycle waste water. Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. (ESPH:  PK) has introduced several water solutions that can be used in agriculture, mining, industry, or municipal applications.  The company’s flagship Ozonix Technology is a chemical-free system to recycle...
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OriginClear Gambles on Marketing Program

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Last week waste water treatment developer OriginClear (OCLN:  OTC/QB) announced pilot projects for rental of its commercial water systems for pool cleaning.  The company has several patents to its credit, protecting its innovations.   OriginClear has developed a proprietary catalytic process to clean up solids from waste water as well as an oxidation technology to eliminate microtoxins in water.  Unfortunately, the company has struggled to extract value from its efforts.  OriginClear has yet to report profits.  Indeed in the most recently reported fiscal year ending December 2019, revenue of $3.588 million only barely covered cost of goods of $3.217 million, let alone operating expenses that...

Air Products Goes Operational with Carbon Capture

by Debra Fiakas CFA   In October 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy selected a dozen projects aimed at bringing relief to a planet suffocating in a cloud of toxic carbon dioxide emissions. The DOE called the program it’s Large-Scale Industrial Carbon Capture Storage Projects and wrote checks for $575 million out of American Recovery and Reconstruction (ARRA) funds.  A little more than a year later the DOE weeded out all but three projects for the second phase of the program.  Besides Leucadia Energy (subsidiary of Leucadia National, LUK:  NYSE) and Archer Daniels Midland...

The Worst Waste

Jim Lane Peter Brown of FFA Fuels, promotes his company these days with the pithy slogan, “Fuels from the Worst Waste Around.” Which of course raises the legitimate question, what is the worst waste, and can we find a use for it? Discussions of worst waste will usually focus on the obvious say, landfill or the odious say, medical or nuclear waste. Toxicity and longevity are typical concerns, and that’s one of the reasons why nuclear energy remains controversial to this day. No Waste in Nature As LanzaTech’s Jennifer Holmgren observed in a recent article by...

Axion Power is Poised to Dominate Energy Storage for Stop-start Idle Elimination

John Petersen After eight years of rarely speaking above a whisper, Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) has found its voice, taken the scientific wraps off its PbC® battery technology and shown potential customers, competitors and investors that it's carrying a big stick and is poised to dominate energy storage for stop-start idle elimination – a cheap and sensible fuel efficiency and emissions reduction technology that's expected to grow at spectacular rates for the rest of the decade as shown in the following forecast of battery demand in vehicles equipped with stop-start systems. In a new white...

Ten Insights into Carbon Policy and Its Implications

On November 27, I attended the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Fifth Energy Analysis Forum, hosted by NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis & Applications Center.  The forum focused on carbon policy design, the implications for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.  As a stock analyst focused on that sector, I am extremely lucky to have NREL as a local resource: the quality and the level of the experts at NREL and the ones they bring in is probably not matched anywhere in the country, and conferences like these provide priceless insights into what these Energy Analysts are thinking.   Why should investors...

Phycal Captures CO2 Funding for Biofuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA As part of its program to promote beneficial reuse of carbon dioxide, the Department of Energy awarded a total of $27.2 million ($3.0 million in the first phase and $24.2 million in a second phase) to a consortium led by alternative energy developer Phycal, Inc. (private).  According to the DOE website, Phycal is to develop an integrated system to produce biofuel from microalgae cultivated with captured carbon dioxide (CO2).  The biofuel is to be blended with other fuels for power generation or as drop-in diesel or jet fuel. It is a bit of...
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Earnings Roundup: Metals Prices Boost Covanta and Umicore

By Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA You don’t have to own mining companies to benefit from rising metals prices. This is a roundup of first quarter earnings notes shared with my Patreon supporters over the last week. Waste to energy operator Covanta and specialty metals recycler Umicore are both benefiting from skyrocketing metals prices. Just as renewable energy and energy efficiency stocks have long shown that investors don’t have to own fossil fuel companies to benefit from rising prices of fossil fuels, recyclers like Covanta and Umicore are showing that you don’t have to own environmentally damaging mining companies to benefit from rising...

Chinese and EU Clash Over Airline Emissions

Doug Young China’s increasingly contentious trade relations with Europe suffered another setback late last week, when the EU threatened to fine Chinese airlines that were refusing to comply with a new controversial program to reduce greenhouse gases. China responded with its own threat by saying it won’t accept the EU’s planned carbon tax, raising the prospect of a dangerous new trade war. This latest in a recent series of trade conflicts between China and both Europe and the US is developing into a troublesome pattern that could spin out of control, endangering the nascent global economic...
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Boiler Maker in Need of a Shot

by Debra Fiakas, CFA A reserve split is in the works to keep shares of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises(B&W) listed under the symbol BW on the NYSE.  The stock price of this storied environmental engineering had slipped below the Exchange’s minimum price requirements.  Ten shares will be melded into one beginning July 23, 2019. Reverse merger math alone will not solve B&W’s problems.  One hundred and fifty two years in business, B&W has been providing environmental technologies and services for energy and industrial customers since the company’s first boiler was sold right after the American Civil War.  The company boasts that Thomas Edison was one of...

The Low Cow-bon e-Cow-nomy

Jim Lane This month in Finland, a team of intrepid researchers herded one thousand European cows one-by-one into a glass “metabolic chamber” to measure their methane emissions, digestion, production characteristics, energy-efficiency, metabolism, and the microbial make-up of their rumens. The Project is known as RuminOmics, but if it had been titled The Truman Show II: When the Cows Come Home, we wouldn’t have been a bit surprised. The Cow Emission Crisis. No Kidding Around. The ultimate aim of the study was to find an optimal, low-emission, high-yield cow, and the team noted in its premise that of all greenhouse...

OriginOil Renames Product – Will It Help The Business?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Mid-March 2014, OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL:  OTC/QB) relaunched its waste water treatment process for shale gas producers.  The company’s CLEAN-FRAC and CLEAN-FRAC PRIME products are now called OriginClear Petro.  OriginOil is expanding into the industrial and agricultural waste water treatment markets using the product name OriginClear Waste.  The company has been toiling away since 2007 perfecting its “Electro Water Separation” process that uses electrical impulses in a series of steps to disinfect and separate organic contaminants in waste water.    In June 2014, OriginOil management declared its development stage completed and start of full...

Plastics from Carbon Dioxide

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the last post, I promised to close out this series on carbon dioxide capture with a note on a third example of Department of Energy funding for innovations in turning carbon dioxide (CO2) into a valuable raw material.  Besides changing the chemistry of inorganic compounds and feedstock for biofuel production, CO2 has some potential for plastics.  In 2010, the DOE placed a bet of $18.4 million on Novomer, Inc., which is a self-described sustainable chemicals developer.   The bet appears to be paying off as Novomer and its partners go into production...

Southern Company’s Carbon Capture Testing

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Coal emissions photo via BigStock An electric utility of Southern Company’s size  -  $38.3 billion in market capitalization  -  is not among the typical company covered in the Small Cap Strategist weblog.  Southern (SO:  NYSE) owns and operates six dozen power plants in the southeastern U.S., generating 12,222 megawatts of power from a mix of fossil fuel, hydroelectric, nuclear and solar plant assets.  The company earned $2.68 in earnings per share on $16.5 billion in total electric power sales.  Sales dipped in 2012...
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