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
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
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