Thursday April 13, 2017 1 comments
DENVER -- Eight companies offering some of the latest innovations in mining technology pitched their business models Wednesday at the inaugural Mining Cleantech Challenge hosted by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).
One of the companies -- Triogen B.V. headquartered in The Netherlands -- emerged as the first-place winner of a $5,000 check after mining executives and investors voted it the best among a strong field of competitors that also included companies from the U.S. and Canada.
Triogen’s Organic Rankine Cycle “e-box” can save up to 300,000 liters of diesel per year by converting engine waste heat into electricity, according to Henning von Barsewisch, company CEO.
Barsewisch said the equipment, which has been deployed extensively across Europe, is powered by a high-speed turbine that can more efficiently use the diesel fuel that runs mining site engines.
The technology can produce fuel savings of 5-8 percent, he said, with payback within two to three years depending on the local cost of fuel.
The technology is also eco-friendly, Barsewisch said, as less fuel is wasted, resulting in fewer trucks hauling diesel on the road and reduced carbon emissions.
Barsewisch said Triogen came to Colorado looking for strategic investors and mining pilot projects to prove its value.
“What we want to do is a pilot project to show exactly what it can do,” he said.
Tying for second-place in the Mining Challenge were SunTech Drive, a Boulder-based company with a device that takes solar power in and produces AC power; and Cypher Environmental, a Canadian company that offers a low-cost, environmentally friendly alternative to chloride products for road dust control.
Taking third-place in the Challenge was Utah-based Ceramatec, which specializes in recovering metals from waste streams using a platform electrochemical technology.
The other companies making pitches Wednesday were:
- AATA International, a Fort Collins environmental and social consultancy focusing on water resource management
- Sovereign Consulting, a New Jersey company offering technology to suppress acid rock drainage at mining sites
- Emergy Labs, a Montana-based company with a process that focuses on precious metal recovery during mining operations
- Vessels Coal Gas, a Denver-based firm whose technology economically captures vented mine methane gas
Michele Ashby, a mining industry executive attending the Challenge, said the industry is embracing innovation to save money and burnish its environmental image.
“How do we bring the mining industry into the 21st century and out of the 19th century,” she said. “I’m glad to see anybody doing it, and I’m very glad to see (CCIA) doing it.”
Chris Shapard, CCIA CEO, said putting together the inaugural Mining Cleantech Challenge -- a project more than two years in the making -- was in response to the mining industry asking for an innovation showcase similar to CCIA’s annual Oil and Gas Challenge.
“They came to us and asked for it,” she said. “They told us what technologies they wanted to see, what their pain points are and that’s who we recruited.”
Shapard said the Mining Cleantech Challenge builds on the template created for the Oil and Gas Cleantech Challenge, which has successfully connected innovative startups with established industry companies.
“We know the model works to connect companies with industries,” she said. “Our hope is to continue the connections we saw made today.”
Sponsors for the Mining Cleantech Challenge included Fresnillo, Newmont, Ausenco, McEwen Mining, Jolimont Global, Resource Capital Funds, Clareo, Davis Graham & Stubbs and the Colorado School of Mines.