Vertimass LLC: Huge Advances Bringing Ethanol into the Main Stream.

Plus: Update on Digital Infrared Cameras’s Environmental Uses

Date: Friday, October 13, 2017

Time: 8:00am – 10:00am

Organizer: Gelvin Stevenson, PhD

Host: Sidley Austin LLP

Location: 787 Seventh Ave. (AXA Equitable Building, between 51st and 52nd Streets), 23rd Floor

Vertimass LLC is commercializing a novel catalyst technology that overcomes several barriers that have prevented ethanol from taking over a much larger share of the liquid fuel market. Vertimass’s ethanol can be used in jet fuel and heavy-duty vehicles and, most significantly, does not have to be capped at 10% of the automotive mix. Plus, Vertimass’s ethanol is fungible with petroleum fuels for transport via existing pipelines.

Most fuel ethanol is currently produced from starch in the United States and cane sugar in Brazil, and new technologies are emerging for ethanol production from cellulosic biomass such as wood, grasses, and agricultural and forestry residues. However, most ethanol in the United States is used as 10% blends with gasoline, and current U.S. ethanol production has virtually saturated that market as a result of the “blend wall.” In addition, ethanol’s properties make it ill-suited for air transportation or powering heavy-duty vehicles. Ethanol also suffers from concerns about its compatibility with the existing fuel infrastructure. Thus, even though ethanol is the lowest cost alternative fuel, these factors present a major impediment to expanding production and overall growth in production of sustainable transportation fuels.

To solve these problems, Vertimass LLC, was awarded the exclusive license to a novel catalyst technology developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for conversion of ethanol into jet fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline hydrocarbon blend stocks that are compatible with the current transportation fuel infrastructure. This technology allows ethanol producers the flexibility to make other fuel products that can take advantage of market conditions and break through the ethanol blend wall. Additionally, this simple operation can be bolted onto existing or grass roots ethanol plants with very low capital and operating costs while providing fuel flexibility and possibly replacing dehydration and rectification operations.


Register at the GIF Eventbrite page: GIF: October 13: Vertimass (Ethanol Breakthrough) & Direct Digital Infrared Camera

Or contact Gelvin at


Why it is attractive for investors: Vertimass engaged TechnipFMC, widely recognized as catalyst scale-up experts, to develop data in their pilot plant to provide the platform from which to start design and construction of commercial bolt-ons within two years.  The U.S. Department of Energy selected Vertimass for a $2.0 million award from a highly competitive solicitation to accelerate commercialization of this groundbreaking approach. Vertimass plans to partner with ethanol producers to integrate this novel technology into existing ethanol plants (currently ~220 US ethanol plants) as rapidly as possible to overcome the blend wall for light duty vehicles as well as open up new ethanol markets for aircraft and heavy-duty vehicles and help the airline industry achieve sustainable aviation fuel targets. Overall, Vertimass technology has the potential to expand opportunities to use ethanol from corn in the United States, cane sugar in Brazil, and cellulosic biomass worldwide. Simply put: capital needs are small; payoff could be large.


GIF thanks Investors Circle for its generous support, Geoff Miles, Chino Maduagwu, and Gary Kier for developing and operating GIF’s video, social media and design capabilities, Tonia Popke for her financial expertise, and Jesse Goldstein, PhD, for his continued support.


Direct Digital Infrared Camera: In place of a Sector Expert this time, Direct Digital IR, Inc. (D2IR) will update us on the progress it has made since it presented February 10th of this year, and discuss its potential markets in the detection and diagnosis of environmental issues.

D2IR has developed and patented the first Direct-to-Digital infrared camera. The technology is less expensive and has higher quality than current infrared cameras, which are analog and have inherent noise problems that are mitigated by D2IR’s direct to digital technology. The company will return to describe its progress since then (including several new patents) and to describe how it can be used for a wide variety of environmental purposes. For example, when the D2IR camera is mounted on a drone, it will be able to monitor such conditions as: methane leaks from gas and oil pipelines and from the ground, storm-surge and wind damage to infrastructure and communities, powerline conditions, transformer overloads and fires and refinery conditions and security—before it becomes critical, by reading early heat signals.

In Agriculture, a drone-mounted D2IR camera can monitor water resources, soil conditions and optimum time and amounts to water, fertilize and harvest agricultural crops, and insect damage.

Monitor underwater lava releases from the surface water temperature

For natural disasters, it could monitor earthquakes, underwater lava releases (from the surface water temperature), spot early dry conditions in forests to reduce the incidence of potential fires.


Disclaimer: The Greentech Investors Forum (GIF) is not soliciting funds for the presenting companies, nor is it encouraging parties to invest in them. We try to find good companies—not necessarily good investments. They have been advised on what is acceptable in terms of predicted results, but GIF takes no responsibility for what they actually do, say, or how they perform in the future. Gelvin Stevenson is or may be working with any presenting company individually.


Agenda:          8:00 to 8:30     -   Networking & light breakfast

8:30 to 9:10     -   Presentation: Dr. John R. Hannon, COO, Vertimass LLC

9:10 to 9:40     -   Update: Direct Digital Infrared Camera: Peter Kaufman, Founder and CEO

9:40 to 10:00   -   Discussion

Security:        Security is tight, so please register early. If there is a problem at the Security Desk, please contact Gelvin Stevenson at 917-599-6089.

Fees:               Please register on Eventbrite:

$50, payable ahead of time or at the door. Cash or checks and credit cards accepted.

$25 for call-in. Registered call-ins will be emailed the call-in numbers and, if available, the slides to be presented.

                        $20 for students and faculty

With questions, please visit Greentech Investors Forum’s Eventbrite site, or send your contact information to Gelvin Stevenson at or 917-599-6089. And contact Gelvin If you have questions or need more information.


Vertimass: Dr. John R. Hannon has worked over 15 years in the both the oil industry working with Schlumberger in exploration and in the renewable fuel industry with Mascoma on cellulosic ethanol. His expertise is in process economics, scale-up, technical due diligence, and identifying critical technical areas for cost improvements. He has also severed as an independent technical due diligence expert for investment firms in renewable energy space. He holds a PhD in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College and BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. As the Chief Operating Officer of Vertimass LLC, Dr. Hannon directs, administers, and coordinates internal operational activities to include successful advancement and scale-up of the technology, plant operations, partnering, and coordination. He assists the CEO in the development of Corporation’s goals that cover operations, financial performance, and growth of the business.

Direct Digital Infrared Camera: Peter N. Kaufman President, CTO, Co-founder, and President: has over 30 years of product engineering and product development.  He is an expert in imaging materials science, optical engineering & has multiple patents and publications to his credit.

Peter has over 30 years’ experience as an engineer & consultant in the electronics manufacturing and product design industry, and an extensive array of industry contacts and resources. He has participated in a very wide variety of project areas in product development and R&D, and has always called on my creativity and expertise to apply technologies state of the art to new products and to improve on existing systems. He has developed patents in electro-optical, optical, imaging, photonics, magnetics, and semiconductor device development.

Peter has done product development and production Firematic, Law Enforcement, Corrections and Emergency Services products in a large number of areas, including: optics, video, touch sensors, power systems, broadcast and closed circuit RF, power line RF, radiation safety, abatement and compliance, power and control audio, speaker development, fiber optics, motor technology, thermodynamics, energy management, security electronics, electronics packaging, video monitors, µC system hardware design, interfacing, control and sensing software, specialized low power RF, vertically polarized RF systems, law enforcement products, Firematic products, audio enhancement systems, Ultra Wide Band optics and lenses, Multi-Spectral imaging camera design, semiconductor wafer fabrication design, MEMS design, laser illumination, laser targeting, laser distance measurement, ballistics engineering, photonic detonators, laser communications, electronic toys & others. Compliance engineering & agency approvals include: UL, CSA, VDE, FCC, FDA, MP3, etc.

He has worked with such organizations as: General Motors: Delco Radio Division & Delco Remy Motor Division, Apple Computer, Phillips/Amperex, NASA, NYC Board of Education, US Postal Service, Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, NYPD, NYC Dept. of Corrections, Altec Lansing, Atari, Sony, Hitachi, EDS/Vanstar etc. Patents and Publications.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment