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Posts Tagged ‘Green ideas’

3rd November
written by JHiggins

In the early 90’s I was one of three involved in a start up venture with a company that used absorption technologies to solve some every day problems.  Our first product was a water absorbing polymer marketed to to agriculture industry. For a short time we sold cooling ties to the likes of Walgreens and Walmart.  In eary 1996 we worked on and perfected a oil absorbing polymer that could take oil out of water.

About the same time as we started AbTech, we learned that functioning out of Tucson was becoming a liability to the start. Travel in and out of Tucson wasn’t as convenient, investors enjoyed the social and business aspects of coming in and out of Scottsdale. The cache of the Scottsdale name made doing business there a logical step. The network of entrepreneurial companies and the feeder businesses that supported a young start up like patent attorney’s, product and package design firms and a host of others just didn’t exist in Tucson. I personally traveled back and forth for a little over a year until that got too old on myself and my family. Abtech maintained a small manufacturing plant in Tucson until the early 2000’s now all company functions have moved to Phoenix.

Inc. magazine recently featured our company in their November issue on technologies that are using green ideas to change the world.

Read the full article HERE.

Glenn Rink, founder and CEO of Scottsdale, Arizona-based AbTech Industries, first used his Smart Sponges — made from a synthetic polymer — in 1997 to clean up oil spills from tankers at sea. In 1999, when he turned his attention to storm water, most regulation was focused on runoff from new construction. “No one was really doing anything about dealing with the billions of gallons of rain that come down on the roads and go into our flood-control devices and are contaminated on the way through,” he says. So Rink figured out how to mold the sponge material into different shapes that would fit into street-level storm drains and catch basins, soaking up oil and debris and letting clean water pass through. Later, he developed a way to coat the sponges with an antimicrobial agent so they would disinfect water as well. The next iteration will add the ability to capture heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Long Beach, California, installed 2,000 AbTech filters in June 2004. Tom Leary, the city’s storm-water compliance officer, was primarily concerned with cutting bacterial pollution at beaches. Tests showed the Smart Sponges effectively eliminated bacteria. And in the unusually rainy year following the sponges’ installation, they also caught almost 92,000 pounds of trash and debris and 3,600 gallons of waste oil. Leary likes the technology, because unlike UV treatment or mechanical debris catchers, “it’s not outrageously expensive, and it’s easy to move around. You don’t smell them, hear them, or see them.”

Today, AbTech has 13,000 installations in 36 states and seven countries, and its 2008 revenue is expected to be 2,000 percent higher than last year’s. Seventy percent of its business is with municipal customers. But private developers and commercial entities are increasingly part of the mix. British grocery giant Tesco recently installed an AbTech system to treat runoff at a new 88-acre facility in Riverside, California. Smaller operators are employing the technology to solve niche problems — in bus depots and fast-food drive-throughs, to cite two examples. Airports, too: The ones in Newark, New Jersey, and New York’s Westchester County areamong those that have installed AbTech sponges, which typically need to be replaced every two to four years; used sponges are sent to waste-energy plants and burned as fuel.

As a founder and minority stock holder I wish AbTech the best of luck.  Their technology is superior and years of R&D are starting to pay off. The green revolution is taking off and AbTech is poised to capitalize on the hype. Visit their web site to learn more HERE.

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