Neumann Systems Group is attempting to bounce back from a year of bad publicity and political wrangling about the company’s contract with Colorado Springs Utilities.
The Springs company has submitted a proposal for an $18.75 million grant to the Department of Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory for a carbon capture technology that will be tested at the Martin Drake power plant, owned and operated by Colorado Springs Utilities.
NSG has been testing the carbon dioxide capture system in North Dakota using an $11 million grant from the DOE. It’s now ready to move to the next stage – and this time NSG seems to have the full support of the Utilities Board of Directors and the business community behind him.
According to a press release announcing the proposal, the company says the project is supported by both the board and the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.
If successful, the carbon-capture system will create 35 to 40 new jobs in Colorado Springs at no cost to CSU or the ratepayers.
“We have worked very hard to advance our patented NeuStream technology that turns ‘Pollution into Products,’” said Todd Tiahrt, CEO of NSG. “NSG’s carbon absorber retrofit enhancement system advances the capability to improve our environment, our local economy and create a worldwide market for capturing carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.
The NeuStream already has been proven by independent, third party groups to successfully remove sulfur dioxide from coal emissions. The company is currently more than half way finished with installing a full-scale NeuStream at Drake. And company officials say the technology can also be used to capture carbon dioxide and remove nitrogen dioxide from coal-fired power plant emissions.
The way the carbon sequester works: the company says that carbon dioxide removed from the emissions at Drake can be pumped in the ground in oil fields to remove oil that would otherwise be left behind. Tiahrt says every ton of carbon dioxide produces four barrels of oil.
“EOR makes America more secure from the whims of Middle East countries that produce oil,” he said. “NSG has a high degree of confidence that the DOE/NETL will accept our proposal to make America stronger and more independent form the Middle East oil cartels.”
The NeuStream received its share of negative publicity last year, when the contract with CSU became the target of then-Councilor Tim Leigh. Leigh said repeatedly that the NeuStream didn’t work as advertised and that CSU shouldn’t be involved in the research-and-development business.
Dave Neumann, founder of the company, filed an ethics complaint against Leigh, based on the allegations in dozens of emails sent by the City Councilor. The outcome has not yet been decided, but Neumann believes he’ll be vindicated. In the meantime, the company had to lay off employees; and the controversy was one of the reasons Leigh was not re-elected to City Council.