Researchers at Advanced Energy Materials, LLC Win TiEcon’s Top50 Startup Award; Closes On an SBIR Phase II Grant from NSF

      (Louisville, KY—October 2014)–Louisville-based Advanced Energy Materials, LLC (AdEM) has been selected as a Winner of the Top 50 Startups in 2014 by the prestigious TiECon Awards Program in Santa Clara, CA. In addition, the company successfully was awarded its first SBIR Phase II grant this summer from the National Science Foundation for a total award of $750,000

AdEM is a spinoff company of the University of Louisville, researching fuel improvements, fuel alternatives, and nanowire applications to improve energy efficiencies.  The company holds an exclusive license agreement, with a patent portfolio of 9 issued and 4 pending U.S. patents through the University of Louisville Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Transfer. The original technology was developed by researchers at University Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. The innovations include processes for making advanced nanomaterials and their formulations for catalysts, adsorbents, composites and batteries.

TiEcon’s 50 is the TiE Silicon Valley’s premier annual awards program, drawing competition from thousands of technology start-ups worldwide. Awards are announced at TiEcon, the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs annually.

AdEM has been awarded its first SBIR Phase II grant through the National Science Foundation for its proposal titled “Advanced Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts”. During the Phase I, AdEM developed a high performance catalyst product, “AdeSulfur™”. This advanced catalyst accomplishes desulfurization for lowering sulfur levels well below the levels possible with currently available catalyst technologies.

The high performance catalyst technology has the potential beyond sulfur removal for a number of other technological applications such as sulfur tolerant hydrogenation within chemical industry. Using the funds in Phase II, the company intends to demonstrate commercial scale production at tons per day.  “Sulfur removal has become significant for transportation fuels due to increased environmental regulations. Any sulfur content in the fuel makes it poisonous for specific applications such fuel cells. As such, a sulfur removal catalyst that does not leave any trace of sulfur has a huge impact to the market,” explained Vasanthi Sunkara, CEO of AdEM.

Dr. Neville G. Pinto, Dean of the University of Louisville J. B. Speed School of Engineering, explained further.  “The success of this start-up is an excellent example of how basic research at the University of Louisville Conn Center for Renewable Energy can translate into a technological solution to an important societal need,  in this case the development of an alternative fuel. The company is on a robust path for success with the potential to impact job creation significantly in the longer term,” he said.