23:13:50 EST Tue 30 Nov 2021
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Aether Catalyst Solutions Inc
Symbol ATHR
Shares Issued 41,746,712
Close 2020-12-01 C$ 0.09
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Aether Catalyst to focus on small motors program

2020-12-08 11:12 ET - News Release

Mr. Paul Woodward reports

AETHER CATALYST ANNOUNCES NEAR TERM FOCUS ON SMALL MOTOR MARKET AND MANAGEMENT CHANGES

Aether Catalyst Solutions Inc. has made a shift in the near-term focus of the company to the small motors application of its technology.

For several reasons, Aether has decided, for at least the next three to four quarters, to shift the majority of its efforts to its small motors program. Firstly, in discussions with its North American OEM (original equipment manufacturing) testing partner, the company has been notified that the testing partner's lab is not expected to reopen until the summer of 2021. Aether relies on feedback from testing partners for steering its development path and, with respect to automotive catalysis, that feedback will not be available in the near term. Combined with some encouraging results from the company's initial testing on its small motors test bed, the choice to concentrate in that area was easily made.

The company feels that the advantages to focusing on small motors are as follows:

  • Strong initial results: Internal testing shows that the company's catalysts can significantly reduce emissions from small motors right now; the company is planning a rapid development program to improve on these initial results.
  • Shorter path to commercial product: Emissions from small motors are currently lightly regulated and ameliorated by engine tuning rather than separate treatment, leading to them being a significant contributor to urban air pollution. A major consideration for regulators has been the high cost of treating small motors emissions with conventional catalysts. The company believes that an economically viable catalyst could lead to increased regulation, further enhancing the pull of the company's technology.
  • Participation in the green economy: With the company's concentration on small motors, Aether is going to make a difference in pollution levels versus providing a less expensive equivalent result, as will be the case with its automotive application, thus making the company's technology attractive to entities seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. From an investment perspective, Aether will be more attractive to ESG (environmental, social and governance) investors.
  • Work on small motors will inform future development of the automotive application: Much of the company's development work over the next few quarters will have applications in the automotive program as well.

The company's shift to product development will lead to the following personnel changes: Greg James will be leaving his position as chief operating officer of Aether Catalyst Solutions at the end of December; he will, however, continue to advise the company as the initial member of the company's newly formed technical advisory board. The company would like to thank Mr. James for all his contributions over the last five years as, not only has he advanced the technology from an idea to a mature technology, but Mr. James has also built a solid foundation for Aether's catalyst development, which will continue with existing personnel.

With Mr. James's departure, Taylor Procyk will be taking over as chief operating officer. Mr. Procyk has spent the last five years working alongside Mr. James developing Aether's base metal oxide catalysts, so the transition will be seamless. Mr. Procyk's focus will be on adapting and commercializing Aether's existing technology for the small motors market.

Mr. Procyk commented: "Aether's current low-cost catalyst technology has already demonstrated the ability to reduce greenhouse gases and toxic exhaust gas emissions in the types of small motors typically used in lawn mowers, pressure washers and generator sets. With the current global focus on climate change, Aether's inexpensive catalytic converter technology will be able to bring immediate benefits, especially in urban areas where the effects of this pollution are highest. I'm excited and looking forward to addressing an urgent unmet need with Aether's technology."

Paul Woodward, president of Aether, added: "A step towards commercialization of a technology is always exciting. We are going to miss Greg's day-to-day contributions but are fortunate as an organization to have been able to nurture talent such that succession is not an issue for us. I look forward to Taylor's increased role in the development of the company and its technology."

About Aether Catalyst Solutions Inc.

Aether Catalyst Solutions is focused on providing an order of magnitude cost reduction in catalytic converter catalysts while meeting or exceeding government emission standards. Aether is working to quickly advance its technology through rapid screening of new materials directed at enhancing end-of-life conversion levels after accelerated aging. Aether's primary focus has been on automotive applications, where Aether is looking to replace precious metals in automotive catalysts for gasoline-powered engines, a greater-than-$20-billion cost annually at today's prices (Kitco and Johnson Matthey). The company's first commercial products, however, will be for small motors that are currently lightly regulated but are, nonetheless, significant contributors, especially in urban areas, to air pollution.

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