Adsorption Research, Inc Creates Win-Win Environmental and Business Impacts
Just under 30 years ago, Dr. Kent Knaebel founded Dublin’s Adsorption Research, Inc. as a company that did research and development for hire. Now, decades later, they’re experts in systems used to assist businesses with gas separation, natural gas contamination removal and carbon dioxide capture.
One of the world’s foremost experts in adsorption, Dr. Knaebel moved beyond the academic world to start his own firm as an expert in gas and liquid separations.
ARI provides these systems to a variety of industries, from healthcare and biotech to energy and the industrial gas industry.
With healthcare, the firm helped contribute to processes for oxygen purification to assist individuals with breathing problems due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
But ARI’s biggest segment is renewable natural gas, which often involves taking biogas from sources like farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants, and isolating gases like methane from all other impurities in a given source.
“I’ll use a landfill as an example just because it’s what we do most of our business in,” said Jarret Chirafisi, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for ARI. As garbage is broken down, 45-50% is broken down into methane, 40-45% is broken down into carbon dioxide, and the remainder is nitrogen, oxygen and some “nasty” chemicals, all of which are removed.
“You’re trying to remove all of that stuff so what you’re left with is as close to pure methane as possible so it can be sold into a pipeline,” he said.
Chirafisi said given increased attention paid to climate change initiatives and new and different ways to combat it, ARI has created a technology for CO2 capture that is being developed for commercialization.
He said hopefully this technology gains traction with plants emitting large quantities of CO2, such as coal-fired power plants or cement plants.
ARI plays a role in the solutions hoping to protect our environment and leave a better planet for future generations.
Chirafisi said the concern for climate change has created a market for what ARI does.
“If you’re on the side of science, that says that there is a problem and that our activities are causing it…there’s the part of you that says ‘Hey, there’s a problem. We are duty-bound to do something about it,'” said Chirafisi.
“I say we’ve been pretty successful to date on the biogas upgrading front, and we’re hoping for some success on some of these other fronts,” he said.
Aside from altruistic intent, ARI’s work could also be seen as a means of maximizing efficiency by conserving resources.
“For most of these things that we’re looking at, you’re looking to capture and purify something that you’re already using so you don’t have to use more of it,” said Chirafisi. “Or, in business terms, you could spend less money buying more of that item.”
Despite intention, it’s a win-win for the environment.
For more information, visit adsorption.com.
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