A Pulaski, Virginia-based emerging technology company plans to look for possible production sites in Southwest Virginia later this year or in early 2021, company officials said Monday.
MOVA Technologies Inc. recently completed its proof-of-concept testing of gaseous pollutants through the advanced propulsion and power lab at Virginia Tech, company officials announced Monday during a conference call.
This successful completion will allow the company to proceed with pilot projects for its panel bed filtration systems to remove air pollutants for commercial and industrial applications, including agriculture and fossil fuel energy production — like coal-fired power plants. The technology potentially has global applications.
“With MOVA, the investment came from Southwest Virginia, and we’re committed to Southwest Virginia,” said Steve Critchfield, CEO and president. “We are going to do everything we can to locate the first production facilities somewhere in GO Virginia region one and leave our headquarters here in Go Virginia region two. We’re committed to Pulaski; the administration and headquarters will always remain here.”
GO Virginia is a state public-private economic development initiative. Region one includes the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton, along with Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe counties.
“Sometime in the next six, seven, eight months, we’re going to begin looking for the possibility of sites to locate the first production facilities,” Critchfield said during the call.
The technology would allow a business to capture a pollutant like carbon dioxide and then resell it as raw material. All of the targeted pollutants have commercial applications.
This product is of particular interest to high-emission industries such as livestock farming, fossil fuel energy production, chemical production and other industries that consume substantial amounts of energy produced from carbon-based fuels, according to the company.
“Imagine a device placed in poultry or swine facility that eliminates any odors caused by methane and hydrogen sulfide, or imagine a device placed on an energy production facility that eliminates the need to capture pollutants and store them in bags,” Critchfield said. “That is our technology. We believe there are multiple opportunities for strategic partnerships to both deploy our technology and to further customize our chemical sorbent compounds.”
The filters use various sorbents, including sand, to capture the pollutants, Director of Technology Development Matt Gullota said.
“We can capture gaseous and particulate matter contaminants, and we can separate them,” Gullota said. “CO2 [is] separated from nitrous oxide or sulfur dioxide. We then take that sorbent and regenerate it so we can reuse the solid sorbent and harvest those pollutants. By harvesting those pollutants and selling them back to industry, we take down the cost of filtration, providing a very economical system to capture contaminants.”
Gullota said MOVA currently has two projects underway, and both are expected to be implemented by 2022.
“Deploying MOVA’s pollution filtration technology will help us better position Southwest Virginia as the energy innovation capital of the East Coast,” said Will Payne, director of Southwest Virginia Energy Research and Development Authority and project lead for InvestSWVA. “We are excited to partner with MOVA to site a pilot-scale project right here in our backyard that has the potential to not only sustain jobs and tax revenues for legacy industries but also create new job and investment opportunities that are not being utilized in Appalachia today.”