State College, PA (PRWEB) September 18, 2011
Chosen from more than three dozen submissions, Nittany Extraction Technologies LLC, a start-up company that recently received an investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners/Central and Northern (http://www.cnp.benfranklin.org), was named as one of the winners of the Innovation Expo at last week’s Shale Gas Insight Conference. Sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, this inaugural conference, which was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, highlighted emerging technologies that will have a positive impact on the Marcellus Natural Gas Industry. The applicants were judged by a Technical Advisory Committee charged with evaluating each proposal based on their appeal to the natural gas industry and their promotion of safe and abundant oil and natural gas development.
Nittany Extraction Technologies LLC is commercializing the research of Penn State University professors John Hellmann and Barry Scheetz , both of whom work in the University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and College of Engineering. Rounding out the team is Martin Bradley, Dr. Ryan Koseski, co-inventor of the technology, and Timothy Hurley. The company has developed an innovative process that uses low-cost, widely available waste materials such as mine tailings, in the production of proppants. In short, proppants are used to “prop” open rock fractures that occur during the drilling process, creating a pathway for the transmission of hydrocarbons and maintaining the porosity needed to allow the flow of oil and gas.
According to Mr. William Hall, the Director of Ben Franklin’s Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (http://www.sgicc.org), “Because of the Marcellus Shale resource, Pennsylvania is likely to become one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world. The ability to manufacture cost effective proppants here in the state represents a very significant commercial opportunity. We’re proud to support the work of researchers and small businesses that are developing new technologies or improving upon existing ones that will make the industry safer, more efficient, and more productive.”